Howard-Suamico schools add mask requirements for grades K-6

Howard-Suamico School District Office
Howard-Suamico School District Office(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - The Howard-Suamico School District says it’s instituting a mask requirement in elementary schools because of a rising number of coronavirus cases and quarantined students. The requirement takes effect Monday, Sept. 20.

In a letter to parents Friday, Superintendent Damian LaCroix wrote that 33 students in the district reported positive COVID-19 test results, resulting in 457 students in quarantine because of close contact. He said six classrooms were closed and moved to virtual learning because of COVID-19 exposures. He compared these numbers to this time last year, when the district had 19 positive tests and 75 students in quarantine.

The school district also noted that children in these grades aren’t eligible for any COVID-19 vaccine.

The letter says quarantine guidance from the CDC isn’t as strict for close contacts in classrooms where everyone wears face masks. “A fully-masked environment will allow HSSD to quarantine far fewer students, and keep more students learning in school in-person if an individual at school tests positive for COVID-19,” the letter reads.

LaCroix says the requirement will be in place for the rest of the quarter, which ends Thursday, Nov. 4.

Parents can get an exemption based on medical needs. The form needs to be filled out and signed by a physician and include the diagnosis or medical condition and whether a face mask can be worn for short intervals.

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