Marquette County schools adjust to MCHD mask order

MAPS, NICE Community Schools, and Ishpeming Public Schools will require masks for pre-K through 6th grade students and staff.
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:53 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Some Marquette County students are masking up later this week, in accordance with the new Marquette County Health Department (MCHD) order requiring masks for all pre-K through 6th grade students.

At a meeting Monday evening, the Marquette Area Public Schools (MAPS) Board of Education updated its COVID policy to align with the MCHD’s order.

The community had mixed feelings about the changes. Many parents expressed disappointment with the board.

“The data still shows that while children are testing positive for COVID and community transmission is up, they are not at significant risk of dying from COVID,” said one mother. “That’s what’s most important. They are not dying from COVID.”

A former MAPS teacher said last year, he and his students saw the benefits of masks in his classroom.

“They didn’t mind that much, and they even suggested if things get bad with cold or flu season, we should just be wearing masks,” he said.

Ishpeming Public Schools and NICE Community Schools are also following the health department’s order.

Ishpeming Superintendent Carrie Meyer says while students are disappointed to be back in masks, the district is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our number one goal here is to keep students safe, just like every other district,” she said. “We would’ve preferred not a mandate; we think cases are very low. However, we will follow the mandate as it’s stated.”

At NICE Community Schools, Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine says students are well-prepared for the transition back to masks.

“After having been through an entire year last year of having to wear masks, I don’t think that this will be that big a deal,” said DeAugustine. “It’s like having a speed limit. You have to abide by the law, and we will make it work.”

The Marquette County Health Department order goes into effect on Thursday, September 23.

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