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After one day, Milwaukee schools’ mask mandate returns

Children wearing masks in school
Children wearing masks in school(MGN)
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 7:25 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - For just a single day, students at Milwaukee schools were able to decide (or at least their parents were) whether they wanted to wear a mask to class.

That reprieve from mandatory face coverings ended Wednesday.

Milwaukee Public Schools ended its mask mandate Monday, meaning students and staff no longer were required to wear face coverings when they returned to school that morning. That night, though, district officials re-imposed the requirement, starting Wednesday. Masks will be provided to students and staff who do not have ones.

In a statement Tuesday night, they blamed the apparent flip-flop on the “determining a significant transmission of the virus in the City of Milwaukee.” The state Dept. of Health Services does not break out metropolitan areas on its publicly available dashboard, but it does show Milwaukee County’s seven-day rolling average, the preferred metric for tracking case activity compared to day-to-day figures, as 73 cases per day over the preceding week.

The average has fallen every day for the past week, yet still sits slightly higher than the beginning of the month when the number stood in the high sixties. The current average is also twice as high as it was a month ago. At its peak, when the Omicron variant gripped all of Wisconsin, the average was over 3,000 cases per day, before declining over the next two months.

The statement from the district reserved the right to re-remove the mandate should virus transmission drop.

The original release announcing the end of the mandate earlier this week has apparently been removed by the district, so it is not clear the full explanations given at the time.

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