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Linn County schools will follow the law after public health encourages mask mandates

Linn County schools

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- School superintendents in Linn County are saying they will not go against the state law and mandate masks despite the County Health Department encouraging them to.

Last week, Linn County Public Health issued a letter asking all districts to consider implementing mask mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19. On Thursday, the county superintendents responded saying that they "cannot simply ignore the law."

In the letter, they state:

"Iowa Code section 280.31 makes clear that school districts cannot adopt policies or procedures requiring students, employees, and visitors to wear face-coverings in school buildings. After consulting with legal counsel, school districts are political subdivisions of the state of Iowa and are required to follow the law, regardless of public or personal opinion or belief. We cannot simply ignore the law."

LCPH had previously asked schools to find a way to challenge the law, but the superintendents say that could be harmful to the school environment. The superintendents say that violating the law could result in a multitude of issues including legal action against the districts and licensure.

While they will not be mandating masks in schools, all students and staff will continue to be allowed to wear masks and they encourage everyone to follow mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

After the first week of school, Cedar Rapids Community School District added more COVID-19 protocols, including how contact tracing was dealt with, and more restrictions on visitors.

You can read the full letter here:

MetroSuperintendent_Linn-County-Response_September-2021-1

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Andrew Pearce

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