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Middletown schools extend mandatory COVID-19 masks for students and staff

Masks will be required through at least Feb. 14
MIddletown schools mask mandate.jpg
Posted at 8:08 AM, Jan 27, 2022

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The Middletown City Schools Board of Education has extended the district’s mandatory mask order for students and staffers, according to officials with the district.

Masks will be required until Feb. 14. The board will re-visit the mandate after it evaluates data on student and staff infections and quarantines.

Board members and the superintendent said recent surveys of parents and staffers led to their decision.

“My recommendation for our district is right in line with what our staff and community are saying,” Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. said.

“That (mask) protocol is helping us a lot … and helping to keep our schools open,” Styles said, prior to the board’s approval of his recommendation.

Board member Michelle Novak said “I like the idea to extend it and re-visit it again in February.”

Middletown and other area schools returned to mandatory masking earlier this month as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 led to record infection surges.

“It seems like this is the easiest solution," board member Anita Scheibert said.

Scheibert said the relatively quick drop after Omicron surges elsewhere bodes well for the district. She hoped the district will be able to end the mandate in February.

“Wearing the masks for a couple of more weeks might be prudent,” she said.

According to the school's surveys, 70 percent of the district’s 524 employees who responded said they wanted the mask requirement extended, while 57 percent of the 1,206 school parents also favored the requirement.

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