MAPS prepares for school year with relaxed COVID-19 guidelines

A sign showing the logo for Mankato Area Public Schools in the Intergovernmental Center in...
A sign showing the logo for Mankato Area Public Schools in the Intergovernmental Center in Mankato, Minn.(KEYC News Now)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 3:48 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato Area Public Schools is changing its approach to the upcoming school year after the CDC eased its COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re not gonna cohort classes or anything like that,” said MAPS Director of Facilities and Safety Scott Hogen. “School is school, and that’s how we’re gonna operate.”

When the virus emerged over two years ago, many people adopted a new normal; and on Thursday, the CDC made significant changes to the guidelines that shaped it.

The CDC no longer recommends quarantining after being exposed to the virus.

“The only people that will have to actually isolate are those who have tested positive for COVID,” Hogen stated.

Instead, the new guidelines say exposed individuals should wear a mask for ten days and get tested on day five.

MAPS is also providing another option.

“After five days, they can take an antigen test and in 48 hours, take a second one. If both of those are negative, they can come back to school without a mask,” Hogen explained.

The CDC no longer recommends six feet of social distancing either.

Masks are encouraged indoors where case levels are high, and they’ll be optional in most schools across the U.S.

That includes MAPS, which will only require face coverings in the nurse’s office.

“We ask that if you are sick just stay home. Don’t come to school,” Hogen added.

Over the summer, MAPS installed new ventilation units in some classrooms to purify the air.

“If we have a classroom where we have multiple students that have tested positive for COVID, we’ll certainly go in with one of our disinfecting foggers at night and fog that space,” Hogen said.

Around 500 Americans are still dying each day from COVID-19-- with more than 100,000 cases across the nation.

The CDC emphasizes the importance of staying up-to-date on vaccinations to protect against severe illness and hospitalizations.

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