ADM Changes Mask Mandate


Senior Isabel Ortiz smiles during a power hour while choosing not to wear a mask.

On Friday afternoon, the Iowa Department of Public Health sent a message to every school in Iowa, which detailed the new guidelines for mask use. Due to the guidelines and situations outlined within the message, the ADM School Board has decided to make school mask-optional. 

“[The message] talks about how responses to Covid have evolved over time,” Superintendent Greg Dufoe said in an interview. “At this point in time, the Iowa Department of Public Health feels like it’s appropriate and even urged Iowa school districts to give students and parents the option on whether or not to use masks.”

The letter from the Iowa Department of Public Health also outlined the standard for quarantines, as masks are no longer required. In the past, if there was a positive case without mask use, the students involved would have a mandatory quarantine for two weeks. 

“No longer do Iowa schools have to through working with their local county Public Health Departments to quarantine students or staff who are found to be close contacts of those who are positive,” Dufoe said. “Thus, that was one of the compelling reasons to wear masks in school and have that be required.” 

This change has come during the seniors’ last week, which has begged the question: why didn’t they just wait until next school year? The ADM School District was already planning on returning maskless to the 2021- 2022 school year, regardless of quarantine changes.

Dufoe stated that it has been a difficult set of circumstances ever since last March, but there has largely been little concern from the community. He also acknowledged that it would be impossible to please everyone, but feels it was the right decision to make masks optional based on the current situation.