The Austin School Board approved a measure at their regular monthly meeting Monday that would loosen masking requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Dr. Joey Page stated in a news release that the new guidelines are based on CDC recommendations. Now that Austin is listed as a county with medium COVID risk, Page stated that the CDC no longer recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in K-12 schools and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 community level. Dr. Page went on to state that Mower County is currently at a medium transmission level.
To determine community risk, the CDC looks at the case count as well as hospitalizations and hospital beds available. Dr. Page stated that people may choose to wear a mask at any time, and he added that people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.