Students, staff and visitors in all Stow-Munroe Falls school district buildings and on school buses will be required to continue wearing masks up until winter break.
Superintendent Tom Bratten, in a message Friday to parents, said the mask mandate will go through Dec. 22. "We will re-evaluate the masking requirement on or before Jan. 4, 2022 and make a further determination dependent upon the available data at that time."
"While we are doing our best to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our district, we are seeing an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases and other seasonal illnesses in our buildings and district which continue to contribute to student and staff absences throughout the district."
Bratten cited the continuing rise over the past few weeks in positive COVID-19 cases, noting that community spread "in Summit County, our immediately surrounding school districts, and our cities [is] contributing to a significant increase in pediatric cases.
The Stow-Munroe Falls City School District initially started the school year as mask optional, and enacted a mandate less than a month later on Sept. 7. It ran through Oct. 1 and was extended then through Nov. 23.
"We are pleased to share that we have managed to keep our positive cases & quarantine numbers extremely low compared to other districts," Bratten said in his message. "We want to remind you to keep students home from school if they are sick; we appreciate your cooperation. "
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: The mask mandate at Stow-Munroe Falls schools extended through Dec. 22