Mask mandates could possibly return to Michiana

NOW: Mask mandates could possibly return to Michiana


ELKHART, Ind -- Beacon Health facilities will be requiring everyone to wear a mask starting Friday August 6th.

The mandate from Beacon is just the beginning for Michiana, as schools will require teachers, faculty, and students to wear masks when the school year returns.

With that requirement, it's left some parents upset, butElkhart County's health officer, says this is the best option available moving forward.

"The CDC is recommending that all kids wear masks. The Indiana state department of health is recommending that all kids wear masks. This is nothing new. We know that the delta variant is infecting more and more children and so we have kids that have high risk conditions too that deserve to be protected from COVID-19," said Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Bethany Wait.

Since we've been in the pandemic for well over a year, some believe it's been clear that mask requirements would return at some point.

"I think since the start we all knew there would be fluctuating restrictions," said Elkhart resident Gisell Calderon.

Now with the school year just over one week away, one student believes is doesn't affect him at all, but he's concerned about those that he attends school with.

"I mean me personally, I don’t think it impacts me a whole lot. I don’t realty care a whole lot but I know for others, you know, there could be some insecurities going on," said Elkhart resident Norman Romero.

Other parents believe that instead of complaining and still sending their kids to schools even though they disagree with the new CDC guidelines, they're deciding to homeschool their children and the county health officer believes that doesn't change the fact that wearing masks is a safe practice moving forward.

"I understand that people don’t like it, I just don’t know what else to say. Masks are what are recommended. We know it worked last year. It allowed us to keep our kids in school. If we have large outbreaks within our schools, we’re looking at virtual options again," said Dr. Wait.

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