Billings School District plans to phase out second-semester mask mandate on an interim basis | Local news

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“We have reason to believe and it makes sense that we continue to see declines because that’s what epidemics typically do,” he said.

If the general mandate is lifted, the board or Upham could still impose a mandate on a particular school in case of need. Even if they were lifted, masks would continue to be an option for all students.

One factor that has changed is the ability of children aged 5 to 11 to receive vaccines.

“By mid-January, families will have had the opportunity to be fully immunized,” Upham said. “But I think as far as SD2 is concerned… I think we’ll continue to see the numbers go down, and so projecting a bit on what that looks like is cautiously optimistic. Obviously if we see spikes we will consider not not lift the mandate. “

Instruction for the second semester begins on January 18.

Mixed reviews

Community members have expressed both support and concern for the waiver of the mandate which can be found on the school board’s public email feed.

“These young children are forced to wear a mask all day long, suffer from headaches, rashes, nosebleeds, etc. to ‘help their community’,” second grade teacher Tanya Watt wrote. at Newman Elementary at the school board on October 22. “The data Mr. Felton presented shows that our hospitals have a high number, and I sympathize with them… However, hospitals are not overrun with children taking COVID beds. In fact, as you know, kids usually have very mild cases. ”She added that she was not anti-mask, but anti-warrant.


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