Milwaukee County public health leaders recommend universal masking in schools

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 19:30:06-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County public health leaders are now recommending mask requirements in schools amid a summer surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, health leaders unanimously recommended the implementation of universal masking requirements for teachers, staff, students and visitors in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. The recommendation is aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and recently the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The county has witnessed a 14-fold increase in confirmed cases among children under 18 years old since the start of July.

Because of that negative trend, health leaders are now using this recommendation to get local school boards to vote for universal masking requirements for students.

On July 9, American Academy of Pediatrics updated its school guidance and recommended universal indoor masking, physical distancing, enhanced ventilation and hand washing heading into the fall.

Then on July 27, the CDC recommended universal masking in schools, arguing many students are not eligible for the vaccine and thus masking is a proven tool in stopping the spread of the virus.

Finally on Aug. 4, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services released its updated COVID-19 K-12 school outbreak guidance.

The following Milwaukee County health officials support the recommendation:

● City of Cudahy - Heather Puente, MPH
● City of Franklin - Lauren Gottlieb, MPH, CHES (interim)
● City of Greenfield - Darren Rausch, MS, CPH
● City of Milwaukee - Kirsten Johnson, MPH, CPH, CHES
● City of Oak Creek - Darcy DuBois, MPH
● City of Wauwatosa - Laura Stephens, MPH
● Village of Greendale/Hales Corners - Susan Shepeard, MSN, BSN, RN
● North Shore (Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay) - Kathleen Platt, BSN, RN
● South Milwaukee/St. Francis - Jackie Ove, MS, BSN, RN
● West Allis/West Milwaukee - Robert Leischow, MPH For more

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