South Dakota health officials weigh in on masks in schools

July 24, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota health officials say that one of their top priorities is helping schools reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But they’re leaving it up to school administrators to decide whether to require masks.

Most South Dakota schools are planning to allow students into classrooms in the coming months.

Requiring teachers and students to wear masks has been an item of debate at school board meetings statewide.

The South Dakota State Medical Association has urged school administrators to require masks. The Department of Health is preparing to conduct contact tracing in schools.

The state’s largest district, in Sioux Falls, doesn’t have a requirement for face coverings in its reopening plan. Watertown, in its “Return To School” plan, is not requiring students to wear masks, but is strongly recommending them.