We’re coming up on a month of the state’s face mask mandate being enforced at most Schuylkill County schools.
The mandate went into effect the day after Labor Day, Sept. 7. And when that day rolled around, all but one school district – Tamaqua Area – implemented the mandate.
Tamaqua said no to the mandate initially but after a little bit of contemplation over potentially losing millions of dollars in special pandemic funding, school board members there changed their mind. Now, Tamaqua will adhere to the mandate on Oct. 4.
Again, Tamaqua changed its mind over money, not safety. Because if you look at its COVID track record vs. a similarly-sized school in Schuylkill County, you’ll see that the virus’ spread at each is about the same.
Masks Make No Difference (at Stopping COVID Spread) at Schuylkill County Schools
It doesn’t seem to matter that Tamaqua didn’t follow the mask mandate and students and staff were free to walk around without wearing them but a school like Blue Mountain did.
According to data each school released on Sept. 28, there’s not much difference between masks or no masks.
At Tamaqua, since Sept. 8, there’s been 27 positive cases of COVID among students and staff at all its schools combined. And at Blue Mountain, it’s about the same. There’ve been 24 confirmed COVID infections at Blue Mountain since the 8th.
To be fair, Blue Mountain’s enrollment is slightly higher than Tamaqua so the rate of cases is a bit higher than the raw numbers indicate. But the difference is nominal, at most.
That’s hardly a ringing endorsement for masks as a preventative measure against COVID infections.
The major difference between the schools is in the number of people who’ve been forced to quarantine – stay away from school – due to contact tracing and the state’s unscientific, arbitrary rules on masks.
Quarantines aren’t necessary if a close contact to an infected person was wearing a mask in school. They are required, however, if a person isn’t wearing a mask. No, the rule doesn’t seem to make much sense.
As we’ve discussed previously, the rule is more about compliance and submission than it is about promoting safety. (READ: Blue Mountain COVID Data Dump Proves Compliance Works – Not Masks)
But it’s the rule, for now.
At Tamaqua, the 27 positive COVID cases since Sept. 8 has resulted in 169 quarantines. However, at the masked Blue Mountain, the 24 cases has resulted in just 36 quarantines.
- Tamaqua to Adhere to Mask Mandate Starting Oct. 4 … But Maybe Not
- State Threatens Tamaqua School Board Members Defying Mask Mandate
- Blue Mountain Votes to Allow Parental Exemptions from Mask Mandate