It’s hard to believe the summer is ending soon and the start of a new school year is upon us! As we begin what is the third school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to acknowledge that it hasn’t been an easy time for students, parents, educators, and the other adults in our schools. I hope our kids have a good first day back at school, and I’m grateful for the effort our schools, educators, school districts, and families are putting into providing a safe and welcoming environment for students to learn.
In Minneapolis and Richfield public schools, masks are required for everyone in school buildings and on school buses. You can find more information about Minneapolis Public Schools’ COVID-19 safety measures here and Richfield Public Schools’ guidelines here. Details about bus routes, free and reduced lunches, and more are also available online.
The approaching school year brings a mix of emotions - excitement, anxiety, uncertainty, and hope. As our schools and our communities continue to grapple with the unpredictable and unprecedented pandemic and the rise of the Delta variant, I encourage you to take care of yourself, each other, and our educators and staff who are doing their best in a tough situation.
To ensure students can return to school safely, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends that all people 12 and older get vaccinated for COVID-19, wear masks indoors, get tested regularly, maintain at least three feet of distance from others when possible, and stay home if they feel sick. A detailed list of their recommendations is available here.
I’m fully vaccinated, and I’m masking up to protect myself, our community, and our kids and immunocompromised neighbors who cannot get vaccinated. I urge you to mask up too, especially if you’re attending large events like the Minnesota State Fair.
I also want to remind you that free COVID-19 tests are available in our community. You can view a map of Minnesota’s testing sites here. Free, at-home saliva testing is available to all Minnesotans; you can learn more about this program and order a test here.
Please stay safe, and continue sharing your questions, ideas, and feedback. Thank you for the honor of serving our community!