Blue Mountain School District released data on Thursday obviously trying to show that mandatory face masks on students and staff work.
In reality, it only proves that if you follow “guidance” from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, you don’t have to quarantine as many “close contacts” of a person infected with COVID. The numbers the school released this week don’t actually prove that masks work any better than not wearing them.
Blue Mountain Releases Face Mask Data
The update on face masks and COVID infections and quarantines from Blue Mountain comes on the heels of some heated exchanges between parents at the district and its school board and administration.
After hours of public back-and-forth, the school board recently voted to allow parents the opportunity to exempt their children from the state’s mask mandate by signing a form and submitting it to the school.
On Thursday, the school reports that a total of 159 students across its 4 school buildings have requested an exemption. That’s 6.4% of the student body. Most exemptions are from parents of elementary students (95). The rest (64) come from Blue Mountain Middle School and Blue Mountain High School.
In another data set, the school relays information about COVID infections and quarantines for the time periods of pre-Labor Day (6 school days) and post-Labor Day (8 school days). After Labor Day is when the state’s mandatory face mask requirement went into effect.
Based on Blue Mountain’s data, its 4 schools had 20 COVID cases before Labor Day. Those 20 COVID cases resulted in 127 people needing to quarantine. After Labor Day, there’ve been 8 COVID cases in the 4 schools and a total of 8 people needing to quarantine.
The DOH guidance on quarantines of close contacts of COVID-positive people is that if a close contact is asymptomatic and wore a mask during that close contact, they don’t have to quarantine. But if the close contact wasn’t wearing a mask around the infected person, they do.
Compliance, Not Science
As we’ve reported in the past, this policy puts a lot of faith in mask wearing. It’s not really scientific at all. It just pushes masks as a very effective piece of Personal Protective Equipment. But there’s little data showing this is true.
In fact, Blue Mountain says at its Middle School, after Labor Day, a student infected with COVID had 20 close contacts at a lunch table. But since those students agreed to the mask mandate requirements, they don’t have to quarantine. Because everyone knows COVID doesn’t attack when you lower your mask to take a bite or a drink.
So, while Blue Mountain is trying to show that wearing masks is good for keeping kids in school, what it’s really proving is that if you comply with the state’s rules, you won’t have any trouble.
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- Blue Mountain Segregates Masked and Unmasked at School Board Meeting
- Begrudgingly, Hamburg Mandates Masks Be Worn in Schools …