By Damakant Jayshi

Wausau School District won’t immediately change its current mask policy despite a new guidance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommending universal indoor masking for everyone in schools regardless of their Covid-19 vaccine status.

According to WSD authorities, the current policy on wearing a mask or face covering inside schools is optional.

“The board is not planning on taking any action based solely on the new CDC guidance,” said Pat McKee, president of the Wausau School Board. “There are currently no plans to change the existing mask optional policy before the school year begins.”

McKee also said the current policy would remain in place until “a majority of the board votes in support of the proposed change.”

David Munoz, superintendent of Mosinee School District said he had no comment at this time. When asked when the school district was going to take a decision on the CDC guidance, he declined to comment. The district president, Kevin Hermening, did not respond by press time.

The CDC issued the recommendation on Tuesday during a media briefing on Covid-19. The CDC officials expressed concern about the rapidly spreading Delta variant in the country. Hospitalizations and deaths caused by the variant are up in areas where people have resisted taking the available vaccines.

The new CDC guidance comes five weeks before students return to Wisconsin classrooms. Schools in the state are largely scheduled to reopen on Sept. 1. 

Damakant Jayshi is a reporter for Wausau Pilot & Review. He is also a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of GroundTruth Project that places journalists into local newsrooms. Reach him at damakant@wausaupilotandreview.com.

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