Local doctor talks about mask warrant removal from Columbia County schools
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga (WRDW / WAGT) – Children in Columbia County no longer have to wear masks to school. Many students could be seen leaving the classroom on Wednesday without a mask after the school board just announced the requirement was lifted on Tuesday evening.
It is very clear that the cases in their schools have decreased considerably.
After analyzing COVID trends, we found that as of August 13, there were 103 positive cases in schools in Columbia County. This then increased significantly to 506 positive cases on August 27. After schools implemented a mask requirement, that number fell to 91 on September 24. But is it all because of the masks? And is it the right decision to get rid of the mask requirement?
Kristen Bank’s daughter isn’t one of the kids you see coming out of school. She and her daughter with COVID. Her daughter got in touch with someone and she was never told anything.
“Because they were wearing masks, they don’t have to tell you. So there was no warning, ”said Columbia County parent Kristen Banks.
She hopes the district will be more proactive with notifications and now that masks are no longer needed there will likely be more contact notifications. People not wearing masks are considered close contacts.
The decision to ditch the masks drew mixed reviews, but doctors we spoke to told us it was a fair choice.
“Is it also reasonable to eliminate or eliminate the mandate for masks at this time, given that the numbers are lower, I would say that is also reasonable,” said Dr Phillip Coule, vice president and chief medical officer, AU Health.
Although it’s easy to assume that the district’s numbers have gone down just because of the mask requirement.
“You really have to be careful how you interpret the numbers because you can easily draw the wrong conclusions,” he said.
Take a look at the data we have extracted. The cases in Columbia County and Columbia County schools are moving in the same direction. This means that masks probably could have helped, but cases naturally also could have been on the decline in the community after a spike.
“There’s no big playbook for that. So we all learn through this process, ”Coule said.
There is no special math formula or rule book for making certain calls.
We reached out to Columbia County for an interview about the policy change. A spokesperson said she would come back with us but never did. We emailed questions and never got an answer either.
On lifting the mask requirement on buses, despite the federal mandate in place, Georgia’s Department of Education says it is up to each district to ask their lawyers if they are there. will oppose or not.
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