PARMA, Idaho — As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in southwest Idaho, another local school district is taking precautions to keep its students safe.
Parma School District Superintendent Stoney Winston has written a letter to parents and guardians telling them that students will now be required to wear face coverings when inside and when physical distancing is not possible.
He wrote that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the community and trending in the wrong direction, getting close to the red category, which means there is substantial spread of the virus.
The number of absences is greater than 5%, and close to 15% in some buildings. Winston attributed those numbers to illness and people in quarantine.
The mask mandate will start on Tuesday, Sept. 6 and run through Friday, Sept. 24. Winston said he hopes this policy will lead to a decrease in COVID-19 numbers.
He added that the district wants to avoid going to a hybrid instructional model, and cancel sporting and other school events.
Masks will be made available for every student in the Parma School District, which consists of three schools.
Although Winston stated this is a requirement for the next three weeks, he left the door open for some students to go unmasked. He concluded his letter this way:
I understand that this will be welcomed news for some and very unwelcomed news for others. Please note the time period in this request is only three weeks to stop the upward trend. We will reevaluate at that time. Those students that are adamant about not wearing a mask need to maintain physical distance of 6 feet.
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