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School districts making tough decisions about masks this fall

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Superintendents of two of the largest school districts in the area are answering the question of students wearing masks when school resumes this fall very differently.

Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler said the district will go back to school in the fall without masks required.

Washington Local Superintendent Dr. Kadee Anstadt said that while it’s virtually impossible to know what the COVID situation will be one month from now, she is leaning toward having the K-6 students wear masks because they’re too young to receive the vaccine.

The middle school and high schools are a different story and will largely depend on the level of COVID-19 spread at the time school starts at the end of August.

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that all kids over the age of 2 should wear masks to school in the fall. Several days earlier, the CDC recommended that any student or teacher who is fully vaccinated doesn’t have to wear a mask in the fall, but recommended that anyone unvaccinated should mask up.

All of this comes as the Delta variant spreads fast among unvaccinated people in every state. And some health experts say it’s hitting the pediatric population.

Both major health agencies are only issuing recommendations and can’t force school districts to do anything. The decision on mask-wearing falls into the lap of all school administrators who are juggling student welfare with regional fluctuations in the number of COVID cases.

Add to that the desire from parents and students to have a concrete answer about the fall mask policy as everyone longs for a return to normal this coming school year.

Several other districts contacted by 13abc are still in the process of working out their fall mask policies and said they will only release plans once they have come to a decision that best fits the need of their staff and students.

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