And now, only Gibraltar is preparing popular orders for masks

Pediatric health advisor Dr Amy Fogarty recommends that Door County schools make face masks mandatory for all students and staff, but so far, only one public school board, Gibraltar, follow those instructions.

As of August 20, the parish school of St. That changed on August 23 when Gibraltar Superintendent of Schools, Tina Van Meer, told the school board that she was prepared, within the next two days, to order the wearing of face masks inside schools. school buildings and transportation for all staff, teachers, parents, and students. The announcement is expected to be sent out this week.

Previously, Gibraltar would only require masks for students in grades six and under in the building’s elementary sections. After receiving critical care case information and data from Door County Medical Center (DCMC), federal and state agencies, and DCMC’s Fogarty, who are providing pediatric recommendations for county, Van Meer said she needed to follow their advice and require masks to be worn to keep students and staff safe.

“All I can do is keep this environment as low-risk as possible,” says Van Meer.

Many Gibraltar school board members voiced their support and support for Van Meer’s proposal.

A year ago, school districts followed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), accepted Fogarty’s recommendations, and took a variety of precautions, including assigning lunchroom seating arrangements. , require masks, clean regularly, install Plexiglas barriers and set up online and homeschooling scenarios.

That was before scientists studying COVID-19 had solid information about effectively stopping the spread of a new disease, Fogarty said.

“Now there’s more data to say that the two things we really need to do are keep sick kids out of school and have students wear masks,” she said.

After receiving Fogarty’s advice, the Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay, and Southern Door school districts approved slightly revised and strengthened school reopening plans, allowing superintendents to have jurisdiction over most of their school districts. cases to enhance safety protocols whenever a health condition is necessary, but they still allow the wearing of masks as an option for students and staff. Sturgeon Bay School Board voted 6-3 to keep masks as optional; South Gate school board holds the optional mask with a 6-1 vote; and Sevastopol’s vote was 5-2 in favor of optional masking.

Seth Thomas – a health professional and the parents, and his wife, Katie, of three Sevastopol students – urged the Sevastopol school board on August 19 to require all students and staff to wear face coverings to protect their safety. A student’s classroom set does not need to be quarantined if one child is infected. “Our kids need to go to school every day, so I’m here to urge you to make mask wearing mandatory,” says Thomas. On the other hand, an opponent of mandatory masks, Geoff Samson, thanked the board at the same meeting for keeping the optional masks. Samson also said the board would see even greater resistance if it tried to mandate vaccinations. Craig Sterrett’s photo.

Fogarty said the data only shows a 1 percent rate of COVID-19 transmission if children wear masks, even if a student who tests positive for COVID-19 is in class. If students wear masks, only symptomatic students (and their siblings) are sent home for testing and/or isolation for 10 days. If a student becomes ill in a classroom where no student is wearing a mask, all classmates are likely to be sent home for 10 days, as well as “close contacts” with those who are in close contact. with whom the sick child has been associated for more than 15 minutes at a time.

The statistics also require everyone to wear a mask. Fogarty says vaccination rates among 17- and 18-year-olds are just 38 percent, and only 33 percent among 12-16 year olds.

School board member Pamela Parks cast her sole dissenting vote on optional mask wearing at the Southern Door. She said she couldn’t support a plan to make an optional mask when it didn’t align with CDC and pediatric medical advice.

In Sevastopol, board member Jerry Worrick, who voted in favor of optional face masks, said the school board should reconsider the matter if there is a “major outbreak” in the county. On the other hand, he likens the masks to a “petri dish that can disappear after a few hours. It’s dark, moist, and full of germs. Let parents be the best judge of what they think is best for their children.”

Cindy Zellner-Ehlers, a Sevastopol board member who voted for mandatory mask wearing, said the mask became active last year.

“What scares us?” Zellner-Ehlers asked. “Why don’t we put masks on these kids? I am confused about that. We had a very successful year. Children do not fight with masks. We have experts who are telling us to cover up. So we put on masks for three or six months.”

Fogarty said there have been more recent cases recorded across the country in which children under the age of 12 have become quite ill. That’s different from this time last year, and much of that comes from the more contagious and aggressive Delta variant.

Fogarty said children of all ages who contracted another virus concurrently with COVID-19 have developed serious upper respiratory illnesses. She said recently in Texas, out of 45 cases, 25 children who tested positive for COVID-19 also had additional viruses or illnesses.

Fogarty said delays and longer quarantines will result if school district leaders intend to rely on the county health department for contract monitoring, as several school districts have pointed out. For example, county officials will not communicate test results to county officials on weekends or holidays, as they did last year.


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