School districts, parents getting mixed messages on mask wearing

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Parents and schools are getting mixed messages on masks. On Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health said schools should make masks optional for students.

Then Sunday, the CDC said keep mandating masks through the school year. Ultimately it’s up to each school district.

Masks are optional in the Center Point Urbana school district. The school board made that announcement last night, following a special session, saying the new guidance is in line with the new recommendation from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The Solon Community School District decided to do the same, making masks optional. Solon was one of just a handful of districts initially not requiring face masks to start the school year, also giving students the option to learn in-person all year long.

Sarah Matlock has a 4-year-old, & a 6-year-old in the Solon Community School District. She’s happy that mask are now optional.

“There was a lot of texting going on between parents, a lot of cheering going on,” she said. “Maybe not every parent is on board, and I feel like I’m making the best decision I can for my own kids, my own personal choice.”

Superintendent of the Waterloo Community School District Dr. Jane Lindaman says they get calls from both sides on whether or not to ditch mask. “I have never seen anything as polarizing as the whole Covid situation,” she said.

They will decide sometime this week. “I think it’s very possible that many districts including Waterloo will make the decision to stay the course,” she said. “Just because we are really close to done.”

The Linn-Mar Community School in Marion also getting pushback. They are choosing to listen to Linn County Public Health and keep masks.

“Iowa Department of Public Health says we don’t need mask anymore, CDC and Public Health say we do need mask,” said Superintendent Shannon Bisgard. “That guidance left us to do the best we could and make the right decision.”

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