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Sunman-Dearborn schools don't see need for mask mandate, yet

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 21:31:15-04

A rise in students catching COVID-19 made masks mandatory at every Dearborn County school district . . . except one.

"We feel like currently it's not needed for a couple reasons," said Andrew Jackson, Sunman-Dearborn School District superintendent. "One is the data shows that kids are not contracting it here at school."

Statewide student infections hit a single-day record for the pandemic with 796 new cases in one day last week. Positive tests among teachers and staff rose, too, with more than 30 for the first time since February.

Jackson, though, points to a specific statistic in Dearborn County: Of its 81 confirmed COVID cases in people 18-and-under in August, just seven are Sunman-Dearborn students. Of the 200 close contacts found through tracing, Jackson said, just one student tested positive.

Jackson said if cases hit 70, he will trigger the change that could involve masks and limited crowds at events.

And while many parents agree with Jackson's methodology, some Sunman-Dearborn parents do not, stating they would like to see masking so that the district stays ahead of any potential spread as the school year continues.