Damakant Jayshi

Wausau schools will do away with all COVID-19 protocols and return to pre-pandemic procedures – effective immediately – after a vote Monday by the Board of Education.

Before the meeting, district officials issued a statement saying they would do away with the district’s COVID-19 matrices and dashboard if the Board approved the measure, which already passed through the Education/Operation Committee. The district will “still offer free COVID-19 testing on site with the use of our mobile units and we would certainly keep an eye on COVID-19 in Marathon County,” officials said.

As a result of the decision, the district will no longer implement virtual learning days when there are a few COVID-19 cases in any given classroom. Effectively, the changes mean that COVID-19 will now be treated no differently from the flu.

“If students, and staff for that matter, are sick, they stay home. If they are well, they come to school,” Diana White, Coordinator of Communications & Marketing at WSD told Wausau Pilot & Review two weeks ago, explaining the significance of the changes.

During the meeting Wausau School Board President Pat McKee said that masking on buses did not require a vote because that enforcement, which has been withdrawn, was federally driven. That is why, he added, the district went for optional masking on school buses immediately since it was not necessary to have the Board’s approval to do so.

Optional masking on school buses went into effect on March 7. Students can continue to wear masks inside school buildings and buses if they chose to do so.