North Schuylkill School District is again mandating face masks be worn inside school buildings.
The policy goes into place on Aug. 30 and requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear a face mask inside a school building regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.
North Schuylkill says it’s doing this because of 3 positive cases of COVID reported in the last week within the district. Those 3 cases, the school says, require that about 60 students need to quarantine, based on the “Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) quarantine guidelines.”
North Schuylkill Reinstates Mask Mandate Following 3 COVID Positive Tests, 60 Students in Quarantine
The school also says that had it required face masks indoors prior to these 3 cases being identified, only 11 students would be quarantined.
“To ensure the greatest likelihood that we will be able to provide in-person instruction 5-days a week, mandatory masking is necessary,” the school states in a social media post on Friday. “Based on our current experience with Covid-19 in our two schools, masking is an important step to comply with quarantine guidelines and keep our students in-person 5 days a week.”
North Schuylkill’s school board will reconsider this mask policy change at its next meeting on Sept. 8.
The school also posted this in the same message:
Based on National data, Pennsylvania is now considered a COVID-19 “hotspot” and the Delta variant is driving a resurgence. Delta is more infectious and has been characterized as “younger, sicker, and quicker spreader.” Schuylkill County is now in the “High” transmission level as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Our partners at St. Luke’s University Health Network are recommending “Universal Masking in Schools” for at least the first 4-6 weeks.
And while it also writes, “We appreciate and acknowledge the many questions and concerns regarding mask mandates in schools,” the school has limited or blocked any discussion of its decision on its Facebook post.