Jackson Public Schools restores mask mandate after rise in COVID-19 cases – Community News

Jackson Public Schools restores mask mandate after rise in COVID-19 cases

JACKSON, MI – The mandate for indoor masks for Jackson Public Schools students and staff has been reinstated after an increase in COVID-19 cases in the school district and in the Jackson community.

Chief Inspector Jeff Beal said the mask mandate is in effect for all indoor activities for students and staff until further notice. The district currently has 70 student COVID-19 cases and 15 staff cases.

“We are hopeful that the vaccinations now available to all students aged 5-18 will provide relief from the spread of COVID-19. It was last spring, when the vaccine rollout was at its peak, that we began to struggle with some relief from the pandemic,” Beal said. “I cannot stress enough that we as a community need to work together again to limit the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, washing our hands and limiting our exposure through large gatherings.”

Prior to the re-imposition of the mask mandate, JPS had seen an increase in COVID-19 cases at The Middle School at Parkside, calling for a mask requirement for all students and staff in the building for the month of November.

The district also chose to postpone a ribbon-cutting event for its new Aquatics Center, due to the rising number of cases in Jackson County. Cases rose 21% during the week of Oct. 28 through Nov. 3, with 645 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jackson County. The county has a seven-day test positivity rate of 19.7%.

Beal noted that JPS was in full virtual learning a year ago and that the combination of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and holiday gatherings put a strain on the entire school district.

“It’s just starting to put pressure on our system and keep our staff healthy, making sure they keep working with your student, keeping your students healthy, letting them personally learn where they learn best,” Beal said. “We must take the precautions at our disposal to keep our students healthy and in school.”


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