Schools grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks as MTEA continues call for citywide mask mandate

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A number of schools have recently had to switch to virtual learning or install more mitigation efforts as cases among children grows in the region.

"We're actually at two times the amount of kids testing positive right now than we were only a month ago," Dr. Kristin Bencik-Boudreau, a pediatrician at Children’s Wisconsin told CBS 58.

In the past week, a sixth grade class in Bristol School in Kenosha County switched to virtual learning after a COVID-19 outbreak. Grewenow Elementary in the Kenosha Unified School District switched to virtual learning as it approaches a 3 percent positive case threshold. In Port Washington, Dunwiddie Elementary put in place a mask mandate because of rising cases there.

Doctors say that trend is unlikely to end soon.

"Right now, with kids we're still in the upswing, so we don't know when that peak is going to hit," Dr. Bencik-Boudreau said.

The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association is continuing to push city leaders to put in place more mitigation efforts on a local level.

"The fact that we don't have a citywide mask mandate is a disaster," MTEA President Amy Mizialko said in an interview.

But the mayor's office and city health department are maintaining their positions of focusing on increasing vaccination numbers. Mizialko said that is not enough.

"It's irresponsible to say we're going to vaccinate our way out of this," Mizialko said. "It's not working."

The mayor's office pointed to the city's falling 7-day rolling average as an indication Milwaukee is headed in the right direction.

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