To wear a mask or not to wear a mask? Students and faculty share adjustment to lifted mask mandate

MILWAUKEE, (CBS 58) -- To wear a mask or not to wear a mask? Several schools in southeast Wisconsin lifted the mask mandate this week. Now, students and faculty are trying to adapt.

On Wednesday, many students from Marquette University have experienced class in close quarters with their peers now having the option of wearing masks for the time since the pandemic. For some, it has been a long time coming but for others its still big adjustment.

"To be on campus let alone is still an odd experience. This is like the second semester being in person now so this is still like a transitional period," said Salma Habash, student at Marquette University.

According to the CDC, Milwaukee County is not considered at high risk. The Milwaukee Health Department reported that within the last seven days, Milwaukee has had a three percent positivity rate.

"We are seeing receding disease burden at this point in the pandemic. We don't know how long it will last but it will very likely see more variants, we may see more increased disease levels. But this consolidated guideline from the CDC provides a roadmap for moving forward," said Dr. Ben Weston, Chief Health Policy Advisor of Milwaukee County, on Tuesday.

Students and faculty, such as St. Francis Superintendent Debrah Kerr, encourage students to do what they feel comfortable doing within the lifted mask mandate.

"We have not experienced any kind of peer pressure. However, I think it's just as important that we talk about it. If there is a concern, we try to deal with it," said Kerr.

The federal mask mandate for public transportation is still in place until March 18. That means masks are mandatory while at Mitchell International Airport, on MCTS buses, the Amtrak and The Hop.

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