SOUTHERN OREGON —Masks are no longer required for kids in most Oregon schools. Monday is the first day back to school for students and families, to have the option of wearing a mask. For some, the decision is long overdue, but others say they will continue masking up, to be safe.
It’s been two years since Covid-19 changed the day-to-day routine for many. For children that meant masking each day during school, now that is all changing.
“My mom was like it’s your decision if you do and if you don’t want to it’s fine,” said one North Medford student.
Monday was the first day at school where masks were optional after state leaders decided to lift the indoor mask mandate. The change comes amid a decline in Covid hospitalizations and cases statewide.
Students at North Medford High School have a lot of different opinions on the decision. Some are firmly against masks.
“I’m not wearing it, I’ve never liked to wear the mask,” said one student.
Some are continuing to wear it to protect loved ones
“I feel like it will be better if I wear it so I don’t’ put my family at risk to get Covid,” said another student.
Others aren’t worried about that right now. They’re just excited to see their friend’s faces again.
“You can see people’s faces and you can breath better not have to worry about bringing a mask to school every day,” said another student.
At the elementary school level, some parents told me masking was a challenge to their child’s learning.
“My son has had respiratory problems since he was born so it definitely helps not stressing if he can breathe or not at school and he’s been counting down the days,” said one Jefferson Elementary parent.
Other parents say they will continue masking like they have time and time again.
” I would prefer that they stay on, it really doesn’t make that big of a difference to her, she’s fine wearing it, even my 4-year-old is fine wearing it, she’s excelling in reading and math, so I don’t see it being a detriment to her at all,” said another parent.
The Ashland School District is the only one locally we are aware of that is still requiring indoor masking.
A newsletter from the superintendent says masks will become optional when the county moves to a lower-risk category.