KANSAS CITY, Mon – Many Kansas City Metro school districts have dropped mask requirements, but Metro health professionals said this is the wrong approach.

The change started last week when the Centers for Disease Control updated the guidelines. It is said that those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks or social distancing.

Cities and counties soon updated their emergency orders. Some local school districts then changed mask requirements to align with community guidelines.

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Other counties decided to require masks in schools by the end of the year.

In a statement released on Friday, health officials agreed that masking is the way to go, at least for now.

“It’s great news that children 12 years and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine, but children under 12 are not yet eligible,” said Dr. Jennifer Watts, Chief Emergency Management Medical Officer, Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “Until children are fully vaccinated, it is important that, among other infection control measures, they continue to wear a mask to prevent the virus from spreading.”

The CDC said wearing masks prevented the spread of the COVID-19 virus as well as other germs.

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“Schools in our area have been able to maintain low numbers of COVID-19 cases due to masking and distancing practices,” said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City, Missouri Department of Health. “We know that wearing a mask works. Let’s finish the school year safely by masking ourselves in our schools. “

It is unclear what the plan will look like for most districts in the 2021-2022 school year. Some districts hope they have a plan before enrollment begins this summer.

If you or your child is in need of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Kansas City Health Department has a clinic on Saturday, May 21, 2021. The free clinic at 2400 Troost Ave. open to anyone who is not fully vaccinated.

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