COVID-19 outbreak quarantines nearly 300 Albert Lea students

Published 1:46 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

ALBERT LEA — Administrators in the Albert Lea school district say the coronavirus has significantly disrupted the start of classes with nearly 300 students quarantining for exposure to COVID-19.

After five days of classes at Albert Lea Area Schools, there have been 36 positive cases, sending 290 students into quarantine and prompting changes to the district’s face mask requirements.

Superintendent Mike Funk updated families Thursday, saying face masks are no longer just a recommendation. Because of the outbreak, face coverings are required for all students in grades 6-12 until the end of the first quarter, except while eating lunch. Students in grades K-5 will only be required to wear masks on the bus.

Administrators will reevaluate the mandate in October.

Students participating in indoor sports will need to wear masks when they are not playing and fans will be required to wear masks, KMSP-TV reported.

Students and fans at outdoor sporting events will not need to wear masks.

Students in quarantine can return to school on Aug. 30 if they don’t have symptoms or are not waiting for test results.

Funk is urging staff to “lead by example” and wear masks. Vaccination is also encouraged for everyone age 12 years old and up.