Medford school board meets over statewide mask mandate

MEDFORD, Ore — Tonight, the Medford school district met to discuss the implementation of masks.

The discussion comes as covid-19 case numbers and hospitalizations soar in the rogue valley.

Last week, the governor directed the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education to require school staff and students to wear a mask for the 2021 fall semester.

Face masks are not required for indoor sports or voluntary before and after school programs.

Tonight’s meeting was to let people know how the Medford school district is handling the new rules.

“Two weeks ago, our back-to-school plan looked a lot different,” said Suzanne Messer, a Medford School Board Chair. “The latest change from the Governor, adding the punitive damages, has tied our hands in a multitude of ways.”

Guidance on knowingly not following the requirements has been released and includes a $500 fine per violation, which m-s-d says could mean for each child.

MSD explained that the o-h-a will review these new masking rules every month.

If local case numbers drop, the OHA aims to return to local decision-making.

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