To mask or not to mask?

West Sioux Board of Education and administration sent out a survey to parents and teachers in the district Tuesday, Sept. 29 to seek support for a potential mask mandate after the Iowa Department of Public Health released further information on the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

HAWARDEN—After hearing from Gov. Kim Reynolds during a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 29 West Sioux administration sought parents opinions on whether or not the district should require masks.

This all stems from information gathered and announced from the Iowa Department of Public Health who now say students who are wearing masks consistently and correctly would no longer need to be quarantined for the 14 days if they were identified as being exposed through contact tracing to a positive case.

“As the board and administration consider this new information and how it may impact our Return-to-Learn plan, we would like to get some input from parents and teachers,” the survey letter reads.

The survey has one question: “Would you support a mandatory mask policy at West Sioux?”

Administration asked that those filling out the surveys would have them turned in by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30. With this policy, students would be required to correctly wear a mask all day except when they can effectively social distance and when they eat.

In the event of a positive case, the school will still contact trace. However, students who were exposed will not be asked to quarantine for 14 days if both the student with the virus and the student exposed were following mask guidelines. Students will only be quarantined if they were not complying with the mask policy.

Parents and teachers could choose from one of two answers and add any additional comments they had on the situation: 1.) Yes, I support a mandatory mask policy with these conditions. 2.) No, I do not support a mandatory mask policy. I understand that this means exposed students will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

This story is ongoing, watch for updates on the Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner’s Facebook page or in next week’s paper.