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Mask mandates were reinstated at Milwaukee Public Schools on Tuesday after the coverings were made optional for students on Monday.
The reinstatement of mask mandates is a whiplash decision after just one day without the requirement. The school district, citing “significant transmission” within the school buildings, announced a return to the former policy effective immediately. Beginning Wednesday, all students and staff through grade 12 were once again required to wear masks while inside the building.
“The decision was made after determining a significant transmission of the virus within the city of Milwaukee,” the schools wrote in a press release.
MASK MANDATES GO AWAY IN SCHOOLS, BUT PARENT WORRIES PERSIST
“The mask policy is in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the press release continued. “The district has the option to revert back to a mask-optional policy if it is determined that there is not a significant risk of virus transmission within the city of Milwaukee and/or the school district. Masks will continue to be available for students and staff in all district buildings.”
Milwaukee Public Schools officials also emphasized a return to other anti-transmission procedures, including physical distancing, booster shots, and isolated quarantining.
“That number is rising each day due to a combination of factors,” Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston said, according to local outlet WKOW. “The emergence of new, more transmissible variants and low vaccination rates throughout the county means we must remain vigilant to slow the spread of the disease.”
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School policies on COVID-19 and mask mandates have become a flashpoint for conflict nationwide.
All five Democrats removed from a Pennsylvania school board earlier this month for voting to require masks have been reinstated, the district says.
“Removal of school board members cripples the school district,” Court of Common Pleas Judge William Mahon said in a courtroom packed with hundreds of parents, teachers and community members, Patch reports.
Mahon vacated his order just three days after his earlier order in response to a parent-filed petition to the West Chester Area School District in February, arguing that under the Pennsylvania school code districts have no authority to require students to wear masks.