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COLOMA — Coloma Community Schools will continue to mask up until at least mid-January.

District Superintendent Dave Ehlers sent an email to parents Sunday night, informing them the universal masking policy would resume Monday and continue through Jan. 14.

The mask mandate, implemented on Nov. 3, was intended to end on Dec. 17, the last day of the fall semester.

Coloma schools plans to remove the mandate on Jan. 18, but will make an official decision on Jan. 14, the announcement stated.

“We understand the frustration many feel at this point, but we are committed to doing what we can to make sure our students are able to continue learning in person so that they receive the critical services they need for their academic, social and emotional growth,” Ehlers stated in the announcement.

Districts with a mask mandate are able to avoid quarantining asymptomatic students, according to Berrien County Health Department guidelines. Several school districts enacted universal masking on the back end of the fall semester due to high quarantine numbers.

Just before the mask mandate was first enacted, Ehlers told The Herald-Palladium in an earlier interview, 15 percent of Coloma students were quarantined. Surveys with parents found that keeping students in person for learning was a top priority.

Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana