Op-Ed: Webster Groves drops mask mandate upon decline of COVID cases

Ali Schulz
Contributing Writer

Webster Groves School District passed a new mask policy starting March 7, making masks now optional for students regardless of vaccination status.

Getting rid of the mask mandate has been talked about by parents and students throughout the school district after the decline of the COVID surge in the beginning of February. Although having been talked about for a while, a clear consensus on what the final decision would be was not shown until the school board meeting Feb. 24.

Now that the change has been approved, only one question remains. Does the mask stay on or off? While Webster is not technically making a mask optional policy, rather a mask recommended policy, the question still remains the same.

Students voiced similar opinions about the mask recommended policy opinions.

“I’m happy about it as long as the rates stay low,” freshman Clara Christy-Baxter said via text.

Freshman Anna Pierce agreed, “I think that it’s kind of time since COVID cases aren’t super high or anything.”

It is clear what students want. As long as the school can maintain low COVID numbers, and keep everyone safe, students agree that going mask recommended was the correct choice.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently relaxed its masking recommendations, specifically for those people at low risk. While schools were not included in that low risk category, the CDC has recently changed to include schools in that low risk category. This guidance seemed to be the final push to start abolishing mask mandates.

St. Louis County moved to a “masks encouraged” policy which began Monday, Feb. 28, while Webster is not starting it’s new policy until March 7, to “give people time to process the new policy.”

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