RINGGOLD COUNTY, IOWA — The Mount Ayr Community School District will close down for three days next week and reinstate a mask policy to combat a rising wave of illnesses, including COVID-19. The Mount Ayr Community School Board held a special meeting on Thursday morning to finalize the plans.

All Mount Ayr school buildings will be closed from Monday January 24th through Wednesday January 26th. The district is canceling all activities on these days as well. The three days will be made up at the end of the school year. The district says the new last day of school will be May 27th.

The school board is also reinstating a mask mandate. Masks will be required on school property through at least February 4th. This includes students, staff, visitors and spectators at events (when they resume). The district has seen widespread absences due to illness recently – including positive COVID-19 tests and quarantines.