Jones County schools lift mask requirements

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     With school kids of all ages no longer required to wear face masks in school, Jones County Public Health Coordinator Jenna Lovaas said, with just a couple weeks remaining of the school year, she hopes this doesn’t cause any issues locally.

     Following the Iowa Department of Public Health and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ new public health guidance concerning COVID-19 regulations, Lovaas found it frustrating the rules changed late on Friday, May 14, with schools winding down.

     “I hope it doesn’t cause issues,” commented County Supervisor John Schlarmann during the Tuesday, May 18 Jones County Supervisor meeting, referring to the no-mask rule. He added that students are happier not wearing masks anymore.

     “Hopefully…,” added Lovaas.

     Noting that kids also tend to engage in various summer sporting activities, Lovaas said parents can now have their 12-to-18-year-old children vaccinated.

     “It’ll be interesting to see how many do,” added Lovaas.

     With the two-dose Pfizer vaccine being the only option at this point for those under 18, Supervisor Ned Rohwdder commented that a one-shot alternative would also be nice.

     Jones County received 1,170 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for youth. Unlike the adult vaccine option, Lovaas explained this one has slightly different cold-storage requirements.

     “They modified the storage needs,” she said.

     Nightingale Drug, formerly The Prescription Shoppe, is administering the vaccine for youth, and held a community clinic in Monticello on May 22. Lovaas said Dubuque County also offered to store the vaccine if needed.

     Lovaas also informed the board of supervisors that Jones County is looking at sharing doses of this Pfizer allocation with Delaware County, pending they have a pharmacy willing to take it.

     The 14-day positivity rate is continuing to decline in Jones County, sitting at 5.3 percent on May 18 (4.8 percent on May 21).

     “We have not had as many kids in the last five to six days,” Lovaas said of teens testing positive. “That’s nice.”


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