Oconomowoc Area School District 'highly recommends' students temporarily wear face masks to school

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Oconomowoc Area School District (OASD) interim superintendent asked that students wear face masks to school in a letter sent home to families on Tuesday night.

"I'm writing today to highly recommend families send children to school tomorrow with a face mask to prevent the spread of illness in our schools," Kristen Taylor said.

A temporary face mask requirement has been implemented in all 4th grade classes at Ixonia Elementary School, one 3rd grade class at Meadow Valley Elementary School, one 3rd grade class at Summit Elementary School, and two 6th grade classes at Nature Hill Intermediate School. 

All other students are highly recommended to wear a face mask.

"Let's watch the numbers. If they come back down, well, then we can go back to recommended rather than please mask," Board Member Neal Ninmann said.

According to OASD's COVID data, cases among students are steadily rising every week. 

On Sept. 10 the school had seven active cases. 

As of Monday, Sept. 20., they had 47 active COVID cases in the district, and nearly 160 students are isolating at home because of COVID illness or close contact issues. 

We've also learned that two staff members are sick with COVID 19. 

According to the school's COVID mitigation guide, if there was a 7-day average of 12.5 positive cases in an OASD region, as tracked by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, then the district would put a temporary school wide-mask requirement in place until cases go back down. 

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The Oconomowoc School District went into the year without a mask requirement, but all students, staff and visitors were recommended to wear a mask. 

Earlier this year, three board members left because of a toxic atmosphere and issues with the school's work on COVID mitigation. 

Those board members have since been replaced.

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