Whitney Ruiz 0

Continue Elmbrook School Mask Mandate

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I am writing to you today regarding the letter we just received from the Elmbrook School District for the Mask Mandate change.

I understand the Mask Mandate change in the state and the county recently and the district is trying to adapt the change. However, as a parent, I need to voice my concern about this decision. School should not be treated like the general public to change the face covering from required to optional.

CDC just updated their guidelines for K-12 School Operational Strategy on 5/15/2021 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/operation-strategy.html:

  • CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Prevention Strategies to Reduce Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Schools
    1. Universal and correct use of masks
    2. Physical distancing
    3. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
    4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities
    5. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine

Our county discontinue the Mask Mandate order based on vaccination rate increase and case number drop. However, as we all aware, currently there are no vaccine available for children under 12 years old. And the vaccine for 12-15 were just released. Waukesha county only have less than 34% for first COVID vaccine shot for 16-18 age group and less than 5% for 12 -15 age group. In the classroom, it’s not possible for the student to practice social distant. Without the vaccine, masks are the most important as well as the last line of defense for the kids. Now is not the time to take away the last line of defense from protecting our children, especially not when the cases of COVID-19 new variants are starting to raise. There is still too much unknown and uncertainty. Now IS NOT THE TIME!

The district did a phenomenal job for the student to keep in-person learning and keeping the student safe. The transmission rate in the community outside of the school compared to the transmission rate in school shows us our procedures are effective. I do not claim to be a medical expert, but I can look at the data and the evidence is clear. Wearing masks properly, staying home when sick (even if you think it is just a cough or head cold), washing hands often, and physically distancing when possible slows the spread of COVID.

If we know that our procedures are effective, why do we want to change it to expose our children to the unknown risk? We already lower the requirement for quarantine recently, to take away the mask mandate now, it’s like the district are taking a gamble with our children’s health and wellbeing! Please follow CDC’s guidelines and continue the mask mandate for the district.

I understand there are parents that wanted the mask to be optional, but there are also many parents support the mask mandates. Please conduct a district wide survey to support the decision making.

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