St. Bede says it will follow mask guidelines immediately

Announcement comes parallel to governor’s mandate

A day after La Salle-Peru High School announced it will require masks indoors, St. Bede Academy in Peru announced it will follow state and federal guidelines, including enforcing masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff and visitors to the school, regardless of vaccination status.

Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday announced a mask mandate for all Illinois schools – from preschool through Grade 12 – and daycares, effective immediately.

“The reality is we must continue to protect each other and be responsible for the safety of ourselves and those around us,” St. Bede posted to its school’s Facebook page. “Looking forward to welcoming all the students back to campus on Monday, Aug. 16.”

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that last month, nearly 15% of COVID-19 cases were in young children, up from less than 5% in January, and in July, 7.8% of hospitalizations were in people younger than 20 years old.

Derek Barichello

Derek Barichello

Derek is a Streator High and University of Illinois graduate. He worked at the Albany-Herald in Albany, Ga., and for Sauk Valley Media in Sterling, before returning to his hometown paper. He's now news editor for both the NewsTribune and The Times.