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Wausau School Board votes to make masks optional effective at the end of the school year

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Wausau, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wausau School Board has voted 6 to 3 to make masks optional effective at the end of the school year.

Masks will still be mandatory for the remaining days of school, but masks will be optional for outside events, including graduations, as well as summer school.

"We cannot wait until all young people have access to a vaccine because we have no idea when that will be," said school board member Karen Vandenberg.

The board also voted to decrease the social distancing limits from six feet to three feet.

Nearly a dozen parents and community members speaking out, both for and against the change.

"Don't you think it's time we allow parents to use their wisdom to decide whether their children should wear masks in school?" said one speaker during public comment.

Another expressed her displeasure with the change.

"90 percent or more of school takes place indoors. That means kids aged K-5 who cannot get a vaccine should probably still be wearing masks," she said.

The school board said the rules could change again over the course of the summer if the COVID situation changes.

Natalie Sopyla

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