Western Mass News is getting answers on how local school districts are making the choice to either wear masks or not this fall.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is getting answers on how local school districts are making the choice to either wear masks or not this fall.

When Alan Loudfoot talked to his grandkids about school, he said the idea of mask wearing has become second nature to them.

“They don’t mention the masks,” Loudfoot said.

It’s a comfort level he said is important with cases of the delta variant spreading and many students not able to get vaccinated.

So far, Vermont is requiring students to wear masks this fall. Connecticut hasn’t made a decision yet and Rhode Island and Massachusetts are recommending masks, but not requiring them and leaving the decision up to individual districts.

Springfield schools have already decided that their students will wear masks this fall. Agawam is one of the districts that’s taking a few days to look over all of the guidance and make the decision to mask or not.

“Some schools are playing it safe in saying everyone’s going to wear a mask whether they’re vaccinated or not, staff, students, pre-K through 12. Now personally, I don’t agree with that in Agawam. It may be necessary for a community that is doing that,” said Agawam Mayor William Sapelli.

Sapelli explained how the district is crafting their decision.

“You have to independently look at your facilities, your state, your community, and work with your health department because they're the key to this,” Sapelli added.

He said depending on the number of cases in the community, the district may consider a mask option for only some students.

“Those who can’t be vaccinated right now, let’s say K-6 would wear masks. Others would not need to wear masks unless they wanted to or unless they weren’t vaccinated,” Sapelli noted.

He said the district's decision is coming in the next week or two. The Westfield school district is also planning to announce their decision soon. Officials told Western Mass News they should have an answer by August 16. Chicopee and Holyoke’s decisions are expected to come next week.

For Loudfoot, who has one grandchild who is too young to get the vaccine, he thinks masks are important for those who are already used to protecting themselves.

“The kids don't care. They do what they’re told and it protects everyone,” Loudfoot said.

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