Three Coeur d’Alene schools are requiring students to wear masks again

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Last month, the Coeur d’Alene School Board voted to lift the mask mandate and not require students to wear a mask while in class, but two and a half weeks later, the mandate has returned.

Since the mandate was lifted, there have been 30 confirmed COVID cases in the district and 416 students have had to quarantine, which is why school leaders decided to bring the mandate back.

“This is a temporary return to the masks being required, and the intent of this is to prevent additional in-school spread of this virus,” said Scott Maben, the Director of Communications for Coeur d’Alene schools.

The return is only in effect for 14 days and is only affecting three schools in the district right now:

  • All students at Canfield Middle School
  • Eighth graders at Woodland Middle School
  • Ninth and Tenth graders at Lake City High School

However, some parents aren’t too thrilled about the return of masks. BJ Warren has one elementary-aged daughter in the district and doesn’t think it’s the right move for students.

“You want to do your best to protect your children, we all do, but I think there’s a time and a place,” Warren said. “I don’t think having elementary kids running around in masks, I don’t think they are the major affected age group.”

Maben says the district doesn’t plan to move every school back but wants to take an individualized approach to analyze the cases. Their goal is to see fewer students in quarantine and finishing out the school year in person.

“We want as many students as possible to be able to finish the year in class, in the buildings and to minimize the disruption to the learning,” Maben said. “It’s our hope that two additional weeks with masks being worn will prevent additional spread of the virus, protect students but importantly also protect them from transmitting the virus to members of their families.”

While Warren is hopeful the mask requirement will lift soon, he says he’ll do whatever it takes to help students finish the school year strong.

“By all means, we should just bite the bullet whether we like it or not,” he said. “Let’s give our children the best benefit of a great memory and future.”

The school will continue to monitor COVID cluster outbreaks in the final weeks of the school year.

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