Milwaukee Public Schools plans to continue mask requirement, other COVID-19 mitigation measures in the fall

NOW: Milwaukee Public Schools plans to continue mask requirement, other COVID-19 mitigation measures in the fall

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- Milwaukee Public Schools is telling families to prepare for continued mitigation measures as the district plans for a safe return in the fall.

Milwaukee Public Schools wants the tens of thousands of students returning to the classroom in the fall to have a "beyond normal" experience after the COVID-19 pandemic took much of that away. However, not all of those students are fully vaccinated.

"In fact, children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination," School Board President Bob Peterson said. "Those students still could carry the virus."

That's why Peterson said masks will be required in all buildings and on buses. There will also be other safety precautions.

"It will include frequent cleaning, physical distancing to the extent possible, not sharing materials," Peterson said.

UW Health's Dr. Gregory DeMuri called MPS's approach "safe and conservative."

"We just really don’t know what the fall is going to bring in terms of COVID numbers," DeMuri said.

DeMuri said there are places where students and teachers need to be more careful.

"In a closed setting, like in a classroom, then it's more important to institute some of those measures," DeMuri said.

He added that in other places, those measures can be relaxed.

"When they're outside playing at recess, the risk is really, really low," DeMuri said.

Peterson said the board constantly reviews these policies with guidance from the CDC and doctors.

"The key elements will be having to do with the number of vaccinations that hopefully will rise, and the lowering of incidents of actual COVID infections," Peterson said.

Peterson asks that parents talk to their kids about respecting these policies, especially wearing masks, before the school year starts.

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