back to school masks

Undated -- As South Dakota public schools prepare for the fall semester, it looks like most teaching will take place in person and masks and COVID-19 vaccinations will be optional for students, teachers and staff. But safety protocols could change quickly as public school officials keep a close eye on whether the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant takes hold in South Dakota, a state with low vaccination rates among children and young adults.

Only 14% of South Dakota children ages 12-17 were vaccinated in July, a time when COVID-19 cases are rising again across the country and especially among young people. Administrators say they will keep a close watch on local health conditions and adjust school protocols accordingly.

In the latest article published by News Watch, reporter Bart Pfankuch shares details of the back-to-school planning efforts and provide data on how COVID-19 affected schools last year.