VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – Some families in southwest Washington are pushing for kids to be able to go maskless next school year. They think the COVID restrictions come fall are too strict considering where we are in the pandemic.
A couple hundred parents gathered at Felida Park on Thursday to share how they feel about these restrictions and encourage people across the area to voice their concerns to local leaders.
The Washington State Department of Health outlined the requirements for next school year in May but made clear that things could change over the summer depending on what’s happening with the pandemic. Right now, it includes that students have to wear face coverings inside as well as outside within six feet of others.
Physical distancing is recommended at three feet in classrooms and six feet elsewhere, but schools should also have a plan that doesn’t include physical distancing just in case they’re able to remove that. The guidance also outlines testing options for school districts and local health officials to consider.
Parents FOX 12 spoke with say they don’t think the data supports these restrictions. They want their kids to be able to do things like play tag and be next to each other and not have to wear masks at this point.
“We feel like there should be a choice and when there’s not a choice we feel like it’s really unfair so we’re not against people wearing masks but we are against being forced to do something that’s not virologically sensical,” parent Mary Curtis said.
The parents added they want local officials to be the ones making these decisions for next school year.