TONTOGANY — Effective Wednesday, Otsego Local Schools officials will require everyone to wear a mask indoors.

That mandate will be in place until Feb. 7.

Superintendent Adam Koch said the district will evaluate the situation the last week of January and will communicate any changes.

“We do not want to go remote. It’s trending that way. We want kids here in our buildings and learning from our teachers. Not at home. Again, remote is not an option that anyone wants. I don’t want to do it. Staff doesn’t want it and kids want to come to school. We have to do something. We cannot keep up at this pace,” Koch said in an email sent to parents Tuesday around noon.

For the first time since the pandemic, Otsego is seeing student-to-student spread in its buildings. and that is not OK, Koch wrote.

There have had 35 cases since Monday morning. There are over 500 students in a mask mandate already from close contacts at school and 15 contract traces were done by noon Tuesday.

“Obviously, I know this is going to upset some. I am sorry, but please understand I am just trying to keep kids and staff members in school and safe. We want to be in school. We want kids in our buildings. This gives us the best chance,” Koch said.

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