Earlier this week, the CDC released new masking recommendations stating that those who have been vaccinated can now be indoors and outdoors in small or large gatherings without wearing a mask. There are a few exceptions to this including hospitals, businesses that mandate them and public transit. To be considered fully vaccinated, you must be two weeks after your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or two weeks after the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) sent out a press release to address wearing masks in school settings. We are in a different place with this pandemic than we were even two months ago. Our COVID infection numbers have remained relatively low. Our vaccine status in Palo Alto County is rising, although there is much work yet to be done. Due to these positive changes, IDPH is now stating that they will no longer require masks to be worn in the school setting. We, Palo Alto County Board of Health, continue to strongly recommend that with the end of the school year fast approaching, students continue with wearing masks through the remainder of the year to provide protection for all students.
We know that a majority of students are either not eligible or have not been vaccinated. Our current vaccination rates for Palo Alto County is only 37%. We strongly encourage you to do your part in continuing to fight this pandemic by getting your vaccine. It is in a time like this that it is necessary for you to look beyond yourself and vaccinate for the greater good of the community. By doing this, we can provide protection for those who are not able to be vaccinated, especially our medically fragile and our youngest children. Who will you get vaccinated for? I did it for our community, my patients and my family!
Sarah Strohman and
Palo Alto County
Board of Health
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