COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Masks will be staying when it comes to getting students back into the classroom for the state’s largest school district.
Last month, Columbus City Schools made plans for masks to be optional. But now those facial coverings will be required for teachers, staff, and students — even for those who are fully vaccinated.
“I do think from a public health standpoint it’s the right thing to do now,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts. She says it’s important to remember that only 50 percent of Franklin County residents fall into the fully-vaccinated category.
“If you really think about our kids on K-12, really only half of them are eligible for the vaccine at this point in time and the other half is not eligible at all,” she said.
Columbus City Schools announced back on June 15th,2021 plans to return with masks optional.
It says updated guidance from the CDC and American Association of Pediatrics spurred this decision.
AAP is recommending universal masking for all students age two and older. Social distancing will also be put back in place district wide with a 3-foot requirement if possible.
“With the vaccination, you know not everyone’s vaccinated and with the variant, you know coming around I guess it’s better safe than sorry,” said parent Vanessa Savage.
She has son in 8th grade she’s okay with him continuing to mask up. She says her principal is keeping her in the loop and is asking for flexibility.
“Things can change so don’t take everything in putting it here in stone it’s ever changing still so this is what we’re going with right now and I will keep everyone in the meantime because she’s like it could change,” explained Savage.
Dr. Roberts says she hopes to see other districts in the county follow suit.
“Not only do we have to remain flexible, but we have to remain vigilant. That’s so important and even people who have been vaccinated can get mild symptoms and you can potentially spread that to other people.”
The school board will meet next on August 3rd and we’re expecting to get an update on plans for transportation for students as well.