LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) — Less than 24 hours after reinstating its mask mandate, the Lower Merion School District is now walking back the requirement. The school district now says masks are strongly recommended but not required after students and faculty were told to wear masks Friday.
#Breaking: Lower Merion School’s mask mandate lasted less than ONE day. Superintendent now backtracks, saying masks NOT required, but strongly recommend after staff & students were told to wear them today. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/YXuOcxLBgW
— Steve Lindsay (@SteveLindsayCBS) May 20, 2022
Lower Merion was one of several Montgomery County school districts to reinstate a mask mandate — effective Friday — after the CDC moved the county into its “high” community level.
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Starting Monday, students will have to mask up again in Philadelphia classrooms. In Montgomery County, several school districts already started mask mandates on Friday.
With end-of-school-year events coming up, like graduations, many parents in Lower Merion agreed their children should mask up in classrooms.
“If it keeps kids in school I think it’s worth it,” parent Barbara Mansfield said.
“I’m not surprised with all the variants out there,” one woman said.
“I think it’s definitely necessary,” Dana Carson said.
Carson’s grandson is a fifth-grader at Penn Wynn Elementary School in Lower Merion.
“I think they should have never have given up masks and my grandson said the same thing today. He said, ‘why do they keep going back and forth? Why don’t we just wear them all the time?’” Carson said.
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Before walking back the mandate, Lower Merion School District officials said some schools have recently seen a spike in COVID cases.
“We’ve had close to two dozen classes and sports teams and organizations move into outbreak status over the past couple of weeks and so we’ve definitely been seeing an impact of COVID back in our schools,” Lower Merion School District spokesperson Amy Buckman said
Other school districts in Montgomery County requiring masks include Norristown, Lower Moreland and Abington.
The Cheltenham superintendent wrote a letter to parents, explaining, “the CDC moved Montgomery County into the ‘High’ community level on its COVID data tracker. When this occurs masks are required indoors and on public transportation.”
Now other schools are expected to follow.
“My daughter is at Shipley. I don’t know if they’re gonna go back to masking but if they do, I’m certainly on board with that as well,” Ardmore parent Honey Tishgart said.
There are about four weeks left of school. But school districts in Montgomery County say the mask mandates will be lifted as soon as COVID cases drop and the CDC no longer considers Montco in its high COVID community level.
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CBS3’s Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.
Source : https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2022/05/20/lower-merion-school-district-walks-back-mask-mandate-after-less-than-24-hours/