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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - In a unanimous vote at its Tuesday meeting, the Rochester School Board approved an amended policy dealing with face masks.

The change took effect at midnight.

RPS YouTube
RPS YouTube


The face mask mandate requires “all Rochester Public Schools students older than two years of age as well as all staff and all other adults to wear face coverings inside all facilities and on all forms of transportation.

RPS earlier issued a face mask mandate that required all students between the ages of 2 and 12 years old to wear face coverings inside school facilities.

Superintendent Kent Pekel decided to expand the mandate because of the current surge in new covid cases. During Tuesday’s meeting, Pekel cited research that stressed the importance of keeping schools open to avoid the serious mental health and other issues that surfaced during the shutdown phase of the pandemic. He told the board one of the best ways to keep schools open during the current surge is to require masks that will help protect unvaccinated students and staff.
School Board chair Jean Marvin also noted she had received several emails from the public, encouraging the adoption of Pekel’s recommendation and only one that opposed it.

Pekel is also working on an “anonymous and optional process” to verify covid vaccination status involving staff and students.

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