MISSOULA — The Missoula County Public Schools COVID-19 Task Force is looking to data as they determine their recommendation for the schools mask mandate.
It’s already been a month since MCPS began the semester and you may recall that a month ago, an area in front of the administration building played host to a crowd of anti-mask protestors, the group calling on the school board not to require masks.
But, that hasn’t been the reality the last four weeks as staff and students started the year in masks.
The school board will rehash the mandate and determine whether students and staff will be required to mask up or be allowed to mask down on Oct. 12.
The MCPS COVID Task Force is dissecting data and looking to Missoula’s health leaders to determine their recommendation for the school board ahead of the meeting
School nurses have learned so far this year that the 0-20 age group has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. This time last year, 15% of the total active cases in the county were kids but now it’s closer to 20%.
Schools continue seeing staffing shortages, and contact tracing is taking 24-to-36 hours per case.
From outside the task force, one public commenter said whatever the group chooses to do, she hopes to see clearer benchmarks.
"We need that specific rubric, and we need to know it soon because otherwise we're just sitting here wondering what's going to happen next. And I would just encourage that whatever recommendation is made at the school board meeting from this committee, from you, Dr. Watson, that it would include specific benchmarks." - public commenter
The task force requested MORE data to help them make a final recommendation at their next meeting. Click here for additional information on COVID-19 from MCPS.