A-P board votes to require masks on buses, in hallways

By: 
Jake Ryder
Eclipse News-Review

PARKERSBURG – The Aplington-Parkersburg school board unanimously passed a series of plans ahead of the 2020-21 school year during a well-attended special meeting of the board at A-P High School on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

With more than 30 people in attendance at the meeting, the agenda was carried out in the high school auditorium instead of in the library.

Among the items of interest in last Wednesday's meeting was the hot-button issue of mask usage in schools. As approved by the board, masks will be required on buses and in hallways and highly recommended for students and staff when social distancing of three-to-six feet cannot be maintained.

Dr. Jeremy Cordes shared with the board a statement from healthcare providers in the community stating their support of reopening schools to full-time face-to-face instruction. It was noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control also support the reopening of schools.

Butler County Public Health Director Jennifer Becker presented recommendations and guidelines as set by the county public health group, including advocating for the use of masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Becker also presented the different levels of community transmission that will define whether schools will remain in-person or can request to go to remote learning for a two-week period, per approval from government offices at the state level.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health's official website, the Aplington-Parkersburg school district is currently experiencing minimal to moderate community transmission at six percent in Butler County (three percent in neighboring Grundy County); well below the 15-20 percent 14-day positivity rate that would necessitate a request for remote learning.

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