Schools split on requiring masks on buses
The five school districts in Marion are reacting differently to last week’s federal recommendation loosening mask requirements on public vehicles.
Hillsboro and Peabody-Burns have lifted mask requirements on their transportation.
Hillsboro removed the requirement following a unanimous vote Monday night in a special board meeting.
Peabody-Burns removed its requirement Tuesday morning.
“We’re following their recommendation,” Peabody-Burns superintendent Antoinette Root said.
Centre decided at a board meeting Monday to keep its mask mandate on the insistence of one of their bus drivers, who has health issues.
Marion and Goessel have not yet made decisions, so mask mandates in their vehicles will remain for the near future.
Marion will decide in its school board meeting March 21, while Goessel will consider it.
“Eventually, we’re going to relax that a little bit,” Goessel superintendent Mark Crawford said. “But I’m not going to make an executive decision right away,”
The centers for Disease Control decided Friday that masks were not needed on public vehicles in counties with low to medium COVID-19 risk.
Marion County has fallen in that category for several weeks after a January surge in COVID cases subsided, much as it did a year ago at this time.
While in January as many as 324 cases were reported in a single week, only five were reported last week.
Weekly totals have been steadily declining since late January.