MADISON, Wis. (WAOW) -- UW Health officials in partnership with the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics have announced that all K-12 students and staff should mask up before entering the classroom.
This announcement comes on the heels of many area school districts announcing they will not be enforcing a mask mandate for the school year.
As COVID-19 rates climb across Wisconsin, UW Health says having students and staff wear a mask, maintain 3 feet social distancing, and if eligible get vaccinated.
Dr. Greg DeMuri, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist says "If children are masked in school they don't have to be quarantined if they get exposed to a known infectious case of COVID-19. Instead of having to be home for 10 days doing virtual cases that child can be kept in school."
Masking for students, teachers and staff K-12 regardless of vaccination status.
Studies have shown that universal masking has been an incredibly effective tool for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Universal masking can allow schools to largely operate normally. In fact, if children are exposed to COVID-19 in a fully masked environment, they do not need to quarantine.
UW Health officials say that vaccines are extremely effective and have been extensively tested to show that they are safe.
Good hand washing and proper respiratory etiquette such as covering a cough or sneeze and staying home when you are sick.
UW Health, the CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics have said keeping kids and teachers in school is important.
This announcement is a recommendation and not a requirement by the CDC.