Hopkins to relax mask mandate on Thursday, March 17

At the March 15 School Board Meeting, the Hopkins School Board unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Hopkins COVID-19 Mitigation Team to shift our district-wide masking policy for students and staff from requiring masks to strongly recommending masks. This change now includes all early childhood and preschool programs. 

Hopkins will move to masks strongly recommended in all buildings and on school buses beginning Thursday, March 17. This slight delay between the Board’s decision and implementation will hopefully give families time to have a conversation prior to the shift.

As the Mitigation Team shared at Tuesday’s Board Meeting, all of the district’s key indicators support relaxing the masking policy. Case rates among staff and students are extremely low, Hennepin County’s transmission rate is currently at a low level, and there is a strong vaccination rate among staff and students. Hopkins Schools will consider shifting back to a mask mandate if rates rise above 100 cases and if Hennepin County’s transmission rate returns to a high level. 

Hopkins Schools has anticipated this change for more than two weeks. Hopkins school leaders and staff are focused on providing safe and affirming environments for everyone regardless of whether they choose to wear a mask or not. Let’s lean into our core values of inclusivity and empathy as we approach this transition. At this time, Hopkins Schools will continue to require a 10-day isolation for students testing positive. Quarantines are only required for those who are unvaccinated and exposed to a positive household member. This guidance is available on the COVID Hub and Healthy in Hopkins pages of the Hopkins’ website.  

Members of our Hopkins Community have been respectful of the many Covid-related perspectives over the past two years. In Hopkins Schools, we are grateful to serve a community of adults who put students first. We know this change will be easy for some and difficult for others. We are prepared to support our students and staff throughout this transition, and any other transitions that may be ahead of us.