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Mondovi schools maintain no mask mandate despite high community spread

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT
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MONDOVI, Wis. (WEAU) - Despite a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Mondovi School District are not requiring masks.

The decision comes despite Buffalo County Health Officer Josie Knauber strongly recommending universal masking in schools.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), in the past seven days, 60 of the 5,289 people who live in the Mondovi School District have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s more than 11 times what DHS considers “high transmission.”

In addition to recommending masks, Knauber said districts should employ physical distancing to slow the spread.

The district recently started allowing students who are known close contacts to someone who tested positive come back to school without quarantining.

Knauber responded by issuing individual quarantine orders for those close contacts. The district is enforcing them.

She said no mitigation strategy is perfect but when combined, they can be effective.

“Every mitigation measure is like a slice of Swiss cheese,” Knauber said. “It has holes in it but if you line up a bunch of slices of Swiss cheese, you’re not going to be able to get to the other side because all of those mitigations measures together help prevent the spread.”

She said she does have the power to close schools in extreme circumstances. She hasn’t discussed closing Mondovi schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study Friday showing school districts not requiring masks were more likely to have outbreaks.

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