MILWAUKEE — Local school districts are making masks optional in response to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guideline changes.
South Milwaukee School District told TMJ4 News that beginning Tuesday, masks will be optional in district buildings.
The school board voted in a previous meeting to make it official on March 7, but held an emergency meeting Monday morning to change the date to March 1.
The district's mitigation efforts say if a buildings population has a positivity rate of 1.5% or higher, masks will be required for two weeks.
South Milwaukee School District tells me starting tomorrow #masks will be optional in district buildings. The board met this morning to bump up the date to March 1st, following CDC guideline changes. Several other districts are discussing making masks optional tonight. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/0dzXGl0AFb— Tom Durian (@TMJ4Tom) February 28, 2022
Greenfield School District also voted to make masks optional at schools and on buses beginning Wednesday.
Parents at Monday's meeting expressed concern from both sides.
"I am here on behalf of my the kids and all the parents and teachers of kids who are fed up with your school mask mandate," one parent said. "Stop abusing our kids and you are not my kids parent, I am."
Another expressed concern about younger students in 4K.
"Please remember there are students that don’t have access to that and masks are currently their only level of protection," one parent said.
Wauwatosa School District also voted to make masks optional. It is effective immediately.
Several other school districts are discussing making masks optional Tuesday night.
BREAKING: Greenfield School District votes to make masks optional at schools and on buses on Wednesday March 2nd. Board left it in place for March 1st to communicate the change to students and families. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/BZyjzL0opl— Tom Durian (@TMJ4Tom) March 1, 2022
The new CDC metrics used to determine whether a mask should be used indoors will now take into account hospitalizations, local hospitalization capacity and new COVID-19 cases.
Those metrics will be used to create three levels of risk:
- Low: Indoor masks are not needed
- Medium: People who are at high risk of severe COVID should consult with their doctor about prevention measures including masks
- High: Indoor mask use is recommended
The CDC now only recommends universal masking in schools for areas in the "high" category.