Bangor school department to require masks inside school buildings


BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – The director of the Bangor school department said students, teachers and staff will follow the CDC’s recommendation to wear masks at school.

The CDC recommends universal interior masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their immunization status.

“I’m sure there will be some rebounds, but for me it was an easy decision,” said Superintendent James Tager. “I will always do what is right for the students. “

Tager made the announcement on Monday morning. He explained the different cases where masks will be needed.

All students and school staff will be required to wear masks when inside a school building.

All parents will be required to wear a mask once they enter a school building.

All persons on public or private transport provided by schools, including buses, vans and sports-related travel, are required to wear a mask.

Masks will not be compulsory when students are outside.

Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they show signs of infectious disease and be referred to their health care provider for testing and care.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Bangor school committee chair Carin Sychterz. “It’s the best way to protect our students, our parents, our teachers, our staff. We have so many people in our system that they cannot get vaccinated because of health issues. We have staff members who have children with cancer … So I think that’s the best thing for us.

While we don’t know what the decision would have been without the prevalence of the Delta variant, Tager says it has had an impact.

“At the end of the school year last year, I was hopeful that we wouldn’t be where we are now. So I think the Delta variant is a game-changer, and there is more concern for unvaccinated students and younger students, ”he said.

A planning committee made up of parents, teachers, nurses, administrators and board members helped develop this reopening plan. They should meet monthly to review the policy. One factor they are watching closely: the possible expanded FDA approval of a COVID vaccine.

“When we hear about vaccines for students under 12, it might be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, if I had to guess,” Tager said.

In the meantime, Sychterz says the students she has spoken to, including her own daughter, agree with the plan.

“Right now she and all of her friends are – we’ll do whatever you want us to do.” We want activities. We want to get back to normal as much as possible. We want to have lunch in the cafeteria. We want to see our friends again, ”she said.

The reopening plan will be submitted to the Bangor School Committee on Wednesday August 18 for final approval. Sychterz says she expects this to pass.

“Although wearing masks is a temporary inconvenience, it allows us to return to a more regular school environment with in-person learning for all students, extracurricular and extracurricular activities, and the freedom to move around our schools more easily. . Tager said. “A copy of the 2021 reopening plan is available on our website. If you have any questions about the impact of this plan on your student, please contact your school principal. I look forward to meeting you in person at school receptions and community meetings.

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