Implement Universal Masking in the Hermantown School District

Implement Universal Masking in the Hermantown School District

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Jennifer Ramler started this petition to Hermantown Community School Board

As parents of Hermantown K-12 students, we express our support to implement a universal masking policy for the 2021-2022 school year.  It is imperative that our school district take ALL necessary measures to limit the community spread of SARS-CoV-2 and to ensure safe school openings. This calls for close communication and coordination with state/local public health authorities, school nurses, local pediatric practitioners, and other medical experts. School districts are responsible for the safety of students, staff, and teachers. It is crucial that the district consult data based on scientific consensus to guide decisions about the pandemic and school COVID-19 plans. 

Science has been very clear that masking is one of the most effective weapons we have in our arsenal to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  Universal masking in schools, while significantly lowering the risk of transmission, also prevents the potential of stigma, shaming, or bullying due to personal choices about whether or not to wear a mask. We recognize mask wearing has become a politicized issue and many impassioned individuals are rallying against it.  While this may be the case, the pandemic is real and will infect people regardless of their political beliefs or opinions.   

Locally, the City of Duluth, St. Louis County, Duluth Public Schools and Minnesota State Colleges have all implemented universal masking. We live in the same community as these institutions and our schools serve a population of children not yet eligible for vaccines. 

We, your constituents, and parents of the children you serve, ask that you follow the recommendations of the CDC, the AAP, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the World Health Organization and the lead of our community organizations and implement universal masking in our schools.   


Most recently, the CDC has updated its recommendations as follows:  “Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.”


Minnesota updates were soon to follow.  COVID-19 Guidance for Schools: July 30, 2021. Minnesota Department of Health


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends universal masking in school at this time for all students over the age of 2  and all school staff.  Relevant documents have recently been released by  the CDC, the National Association of School Nurses, and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading rapidly, mostly among the unvaccinated population.  A growing body of evidence shows the Delta variant to be significantly more infectious and that even people who have been vaccinated can spread the virus.

Children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated at this time and must be protected while they are in school. In addition, there are students who cannot get the vaccine because of underlying health conditions themselves or live with a family member who is at higher risk of contracting the virus.  

Center for Infectious Disease Research UMN - Delta Variant

New Variants of Coronavirus: What You Should Know 


****  Other Considerations: Health equity, MIS-C, and Combating myths

Prioritization of health equity.  To support students, staff, and members of households who are immunocompromised (reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines).  

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is another consequence of COVID-19.  The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect many different systems throughout a person’s body — nose, lungs, gut, kidneys, skin, almost every organ. 

June 27, 2021:    When kids get sick after COVID-19 goes away - NIH is following children with MIS-C for five years to understand this COVID-related illness

Literature review on effectiveness of mask-wearing. This offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission:

COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth vs. Fact - Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine [Updated May 14, 2021]

CDC - [Updated July 7, 2021]  Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines


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