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The Iowa Department of Public Health issued new guidance for education and child care professionals on Friday.

The letter, from Kelly Garcia (director of the Departments of Public Health and Human Services), states that wearing cloth face coverings allowed kids to remain in school and have been one of the tools in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Garcia said the response to COVID today “does not, and should not,” look the same as it did a year ago.

She referenced the CDC guidance rolling back mask usage for adults that are fully vaccinated.

The department said it has adjusted its guidance to recommend schools and childcare settings approach COVID like other child illnesses.

COVID quarantine guidance for school and child care settings are being revised as well.

“Exposed children should no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage,” the letter states. “While we acknowledge that some parents may want their child to continue to wear a cloth face covering for reasons that make sense for their family or that child’s individual health condition, we urge schools and child care settings to provide parents and students with the option to make their own decision about mask usage.”

Author: Jacob Hall