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Schools adjusting mask plans as COVID-19 cases rise

Schools adjusting mask plans as COVID-19 cases rise
Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We’ve learned Springfield Public Schools is taking new action when it comes to the district’s COVID-19 response. Starting tonight, families at certain schools will be getting robocalls, encouraging students to wear masks because of rising COVID-19 cases. The move comes on the heels of Northampton reinstating its school mask mandate.

Right now, we’re told by Springfield Public Schools parents of students at Boland Elementary School will get a robocall Thursday night encouraging kids to wear masks starting tomorrow. Also, we’re told any school with a one percent increase in cases will get a call from their principal. Boland was actually up 2.5 percent.

The district told us that as of now, there are no plans to reinstate a schoolwide indoor mask mandate for Springfield Public Schools. We are waiting to get the exact number of positive COVID-19 cases at Boland.

Western Mass News is getting answers. We checked in with other school districts to see what they are planning when it comes to masks. We’ve learned Superintendent Michael Morris of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School district sent a letter to parents on Tuesday that said, in part:

“We have already seen an increase in the number of COVID cases within the ARPS community, and as a result, we are recommending that the entire school community wear a high-quality mask (KN-95 or surgical) when indoors.”

Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools Anthony Soto told Western Mass News in a statement, in part:

“At this time, Holyoke Public Schools does not plan to reinstate an indoor mask mandate. Our case numbers are on the rise, but the severity of illness and hospitalization rates are not.”