Officials with the State College Area School District announced they are removing their mask mandate throughout the district on Monday.
Dylan Huberman spoke to district officials about the decision and joins us live now.
Masking will be optional across the district for the first time this year, but they’re not yet removing all of their mitigation measures.
“Starting on Monday, masking throughout the district will be optional, including on district transportation. However, we will continue to have physical distancing in buildings particularly at lunch, when everyone is unmasked.”
Though the borough of State College scrapped their mask mandate the moment Centre County dipped below the CDC’s high threshold, the school district says they had reasons to take their time.
“We wanted to ensure that we didn’t miss anyone, either high risk individuals or any students or families who wish for additional accommodations. We’ve sent a form out to our families inviting anyone who wishes to have special accommodations for whatever reason, maybe they have a high-risk individual at home, maybe they just feel that they want that extra protection.”
Rosenblum says the district was going to likely remove the mandate later this month after organizing accommodations for high-risk families, but saw little reason to wait once that was done.
“We had budgeted time to March 28th, but our plans to coordinate with high-risk families) went quicker than anticipated, and so we felt we were in a position to make this change.”
And while some families have long-desired the mandate to end earlier, Rosenblum hopes they’re satisfied now but admits changes in transmission rates could still see masking return.
“If we should see a reversal, if we should see our cases start to rise, if we rise in the CDC’s categories, or if we see evidence of concerning transmission within schools, we will…adjust accordingly and we would consider re-instituting some of our mitigation protocols, including masking.”