Require Masks in Muskego-Norway School District

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Dear Superintendent Thompson and Members of the Muskego Norway School District Board,

Face coverings have a strong body of science as one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of COVID19 (1) (2), a virus that has killed over 600,000 Americans, over 8,000 Wisconsinites, 658 residents of Waukesha County, and left countless others with lasting lung and systemic disease.

As we enter the 2021-2022 school year, we are seeing an unfortunate surge of COVID 19 cases related to the spread of the more transmissible delta variant. We all want life and school to go back to normal and we all thought this may be true after a relatively quiet summer. However, we are learning that this latest surge and the delta variant pose significant threats to our society and our children that we cannot ignore. The delta variant is not only known to be two to three times more transmissible than the original COVID variant (3) but it also may cause more severe infections (4), especially among younger individuals (5). As we enter the colder months and students return to classes without strong mitigation measures, we risk another fall surge like we saw last year. Furthermore, an unchecked virus will undoubtedly lead to the development of more variants that may be vaccine resistant. It is clear that mitigation efforts that we take now to prevent the spread of COVID 19 will help us to return to normal sooner.

As such, the majority of our professional medical and public health societies have recommended universal, required face coverings in K-12 school districts regardless of vaccination status. This includes strong recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (6), the American Academy of Pediatrics (7), and the American College of Physicians (8).

However, the Muskego Norway School District has chosen to ignore these guidelines and is recommending but not requiring face masks for students. Since the end of June, cases have increased over 1000% and Waukesha County is consistently listed as high to very high COVID 19 activity and risk of transmission. Not requiring students to wear masks in schools will undoubtedly lead to increased transmission of the virus to the community and, as a result, hospitalizations and deaths among our community, students, and teachers.

By signing this petition, we are asking that the Muskego Norway school district to follow guidelines and require face masks for K-12 students until a COVID 19 vaccine is available for all K-12 children.


Parents, students, and staff of MNSD and members of the Muksego community (ONLY sign if you have the potential to be affected by this policy i.e. only members of the waukesha county community and MNSD Community).

Prepared by: Brian Hilgeman MD AAHIVS FACP, Ryan Walsh MD, Tracey Walsh, and Tammy Hilgeman

1. Zhang R, Li Y, Zhang AL, Wang Y, Molina MJ. Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jun 30;117(26):14857-14863. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2009637117. Epub 2020 Jun 11. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Oct 13;117(41):25942-25943. PMID: 32527856; PMCID: PMC7334447.

2. Brooks JT, Butler JC. Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2. JAMA. 2021 Mar 9;325(10):998-999. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.1505. PMID: 33566056.

3. Liu Y, Rocklöv J. The reproductive number of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is far higher compared to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 virus. J Travel Med. 2021 Aug 9:taab124. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taab124. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34369565.

4. Fisman DN, Tuite AR. Progressive Increase in Virulence of Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Ontario, Canada. medRxiv. 2021 Jul 12; icon

5. Sheikh A, McMenamin J, Taylor B, Robertson C. SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC in Scotland: demographics, risk of hospital admission, and vaccine effectiveness. The Lancet. 2021;397(10293):2461-2462. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(21)01358-1external icon.

6. Website: Accessed 8/23/21

7. Website: Accessed 8/23/21

8. Website: Accessed 8/23/21

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