The Mason school district has the largest enrollment in Warren County and has in the past regularly been among the top academic performers among all of Ohio’s 613 public school districts.
Tracey Carson, spokeswoman for Mason Schools, said the district received the letter but will continue to follow the recommendations of state and county health officials in “strongly recommending” students and staff wear masks.
“We agree that it is critical that we remain vigilant with what we are doing to protect students and in doing everything we can to keep them healthy and in school,” said Carson.
Separately, a recent announcement sent to Mason school families regarding the status of masks stated: “While at school it’s strongly recommended, but not required, that unvaccinated students and staff wear a face covering/mask while indoors. If requirements change, Mason will adjust as well.”
But the Aug. 2 letter from the doctors also included a warning.
“As medical professionals, we can also attest that we are unfortunately under-testing due to many symptomatic patients refusing testing, and we are concerned that many parents of sick students will do the same. With the Delta variant currently causing surges across the country, and outbreaks occurring in youth summer camps where masks and vaccines were not required, we can expect our local COVID numbers to continue to worsen.”
“We empathize with the desire to return to “normalcy”; the pandemic has certainly taken a toll on all of us. We are hopeful that by the end of this calendar year, and possibly sooner, all school-aged children will have the ability to be fully vaccinated. Until that time, we unequivocally ask that the Mason City School board and administration continue to listen to scientific advice, including mandatory masking of all children and staff at all schools.”
Nikki Foster, who is a Mason school parent and shared the physicians’ letter with area news media, said she agrees with the doctors’ position and wanted to promote it by sharing it with the public.
“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Foster, a former Ohio Congressional candidate. “And it’s science. They (physicians) talk about CDC guidelines and many others. I stand by those physicians.”