ST. CLOUD -- As the new school year approaches, local health officials are providing their recommendations to help keep students in the classroom.

In a statement released Friday, CentraCare and Carris Health officials are recommending all students, teachers, staff and visitors in K-12 school buildings wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.

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CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris says masking provides the best opportunity to keep kids healthy and in the classroom.

Our hope is that this message is met with understanding for the care and concern we have for the communities we serve. We recommend all staff and students who are 2-years-old and older wear a face mask unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use.

The recommendation follow health guidance provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health.

CentraCare says with these protective measures in place, it is our hope that everyone will have a safe, in-person learning experience during this school year.

Last month, The Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller says with no statewide mask mandate, it will be up to each school district to decided if they want to issue a masking policy.


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