January 26, 2021

Watford City students no longer required to wear masks

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

As of Tuesday, Jan. 19, students at Watford City schools will no longer be required to wear masks on school busses, or when attending classes as McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 moved back to the Yellow Phase 1 of its health plan. The change came about following North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s removing of the statewide mask mandate on Monday, Jan. 18.
But the pros and cons of maintaining the mask requirement for students was discussed during a special meeting of the school board on Monday, Jan. 18. At issue for the district’s school administrators was by removing the mask mandate, it would increase the contact tracing in the event either a student or staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
“From the administrative standpoint, contact tracing is prohibitive,” stated Steve Holen, district superintendent. “We’re not in favor of close contact tracing.”
And from the district’s standpoint, the requirement for all students to wear masks has been effective in keeping students in the classroom, as well as keeping school sports and other activities running.

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