Oregon School District won’t mandate masks for students unless CDC says to

Local News

OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — The Oregon School District released its COVID-19 protocols for the incoming school year, saying masks won’t be required in class unless the Centers for Disease Control updates their guidance.

“The district is not mandating masks be worn in buildings, we wanted to pass along to you the CDC guidance so you were informed. Families will have the choice as to how they want to approach masking at school for their students,” the school district said Friday.

Masking will be required on all district transportation. The district policy aligns with CDC guidance which states, “Regardless of the mask policy at school, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, has recommended masking for anyone over the age of two.

The delta variant of the coronavirus can spread among fully vaccinated people when they are around unvaccinated people. The CDC, however, has called the recent uptick in cases a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.

The CDC’s K-12 guidance has only emphasized mask wearing for those who are not fully vaccinated, as well as keeping unvaccinated students at a 3 ft distance.

The Oregon School District has put metrics in place to require additional masking if the following conditions occur:

Minimal: Cases are not increasing by >10% for two consecutive weeks OR total cases within the district are less than 3% of the student population
Moderate: Case number increases for 2 weeks, by > 10% each week and <20% AND total cases within the district are more than 3% of the student population
Substantial: Case number increases for 2 weeks, by > 20% each week AND total cases within the district are more than 3% of the student population

“While we believe that these metrics will provide us a clear path for decision making, situations may occur in which we make the determination for additional masking requirements regardless of the metrics,” Superintendent Dr. Tom Mahoney said Friday.

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