STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Struthers is now the latest school district in our area to have to adjust its policies on mask-wearing because of the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
“So far this year, we had 28 cases, and then yesterday, we had 12 reported cases — 11 students and one staff member,” said Pete Perrone, Struthers Schools Superintendent.
Starting Tuesday morning, all of the nearly 2,000 students, teachers and staff have to wear face coverings in school while administrators wait for the numbers to go down again.
This comes as other districts such as Poland have changed their requirements after the school year had already started.
The new requirements in Struthers are similar to what other districts have enacted. The rules apply only during school hours, but what happens after school when those students take off those masks, for instance, going to a local football game?
“Obviously, you’ve got kids going to games, and Canfield Fair was last week, and I’m sure community members and we know we can’t control everything,” Perrone said.
Already, we’ve seen Youngstown State require masks for students attending class, but does not require them at apartments and dorms on campus as well as at extracurricular activities like football games, leaving some to think messages are being mixed.
“And at times, it is frustrating for me, meaning this has been a long 18 months and messages have changed,” said Dr. James Kravec of Mercy Health.
But Kravec says there’s a reason for that.
“I know the health departments are doing their best to follow the science that we know at that day and science does change with more information, more studies, more research,” Kravec said.
In the meantime, districts like Struthers will continue to monitor their case numbers to determine if the mandates need to continue.