By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
The St. Joseph School District has lifted its mask mandate.
The St. Joseph School Board, in a surprise move, voted 5-to-2 to no longer require that masks be worn in the classroom. Masks still will be required on school buses due to a federal mandate.
The move comes earlier than expected.
The St. Joseph School Board had agreed to drop the mandate once the Buchanan County COVID-19 positivity rate fell below five percent. The St. Joseph Health Department reports the county positivity rate stands at 5.14%.
Coronavirus pandemic trends locally have been encouraging. Though St. Joseph health officials report an additional coronavirus-related death, they report only 56 new COVID-19 cases since last issuing a report on Thursday. A woman in her 70’s died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the Buchanan County death toll since the pandemic began to 223.
Mosaic Life Care reports it is treating 14 COVID-19 patients in its system, all at the St. Joseph hospital.