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COVID-19 roundup: School mask mandates edition

Thursday, Aug 19, 2021

* WIFR TV ran a completely one-sided story that offered no context or quotes from local hospital officials or references to the CDC

Twenty-nine schools across the state are on probation for not complying with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate and one of them is right here in Winnebago County.

Durand school district has decided to go against the mask mandate and risk losing several key resources like funding and the opportunity to participate in IHSA sports. It also means graduating seniors won’t receive a credible diploma.

“We’re just exploring all our avenues here,” said Kurt Alberstett, Durand schools superintendent.

Alberstett says the district is standing firm with it’s decision to leave masking up to the parents even though the Illinois State Board of Education has placed the school on probation. […]

“Being that my kids are athletes, I don’t think that that’s fair for the kids,” said Christiana Ekberg. “I also don’t think that it’s fair that they have to wear a mask while playing sports either because it’s very difficult when you are running up and down a basketball court trying to keep a mask on your face. They start off as the mask on, and then it goes under their nose, and then it becomes chin guards and we see that all too often happening.”

Reporters need to get the heck off Facebook. Social media is not reality. Provide some newsy balance to the online insanity, for crying out loud. Also, the sports parents made the biggest stink last year, and they appear to be doing it this year as well.

* Also, too, the number is up to 32

ISBE has placed a total of 32 school districts on probation so far, but some schools have already taken steps to reverse their mask policy course in order to be taken off the state’s probation list.

* Tribune

Kyle Thompson, regional superintendent of the Charleston-based Regional Office of Education #11, which covers several counties including Clark, Edgar and Shelby, said in a Wednesday email that he is seeing “districts all over the map — followed, haven’t followed, probation, not yet on probation.”

“I know a handful received emails (from ISBE) requesting a response within 24 hours, while others have yet to receive that email,” Thompson said. “To be honest, I am not sure how ISBE is tracking it so fast.”

That isn’t much of a mystery. Outraged parents are undoubtedly notifying the state board, because some are also notifying people like me. Plus, I assume the ISBE is monitoring local news coverage.

* There was a little school mask protest at ISBE yesterday…

* Other news…

* Chicago Teachers Union has yet to reach agreement with CPS as start of school looms; district says CTU ‘is rejecting science for their own gain’

* Parents Are Losing Their Minds Over Masks in Schools

* University Of Illinois President On Why Students Must Be Vaccinated To Attend Fall Semester

* Soaring COVID-19 numbers, low vaccination rates leave Menard County officials ‘frustrated’

* Why A Hard-Sell Pitch For COVID Vaccines Won’t Work In This Rural Illinois Town

* Republican lawmakers challenge ISBE’s enforcement of school mask mandate

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - JoanP - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    = I also don’t think that it’s fair that they have to wear a mask while playing sports =

    Tough to play sports when you’re on a ventilator.


  2. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:31 am:

    =Reporters need to get the heck off Facebook.=

    So many of these small market stations and papers find pretty much all of their local contact their.

    Durand held a special meeting last night and voted. 4-3 to mask BTW.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    === “Being that my kids are athletes, I don’t think that that’s fair for the kids,” said Christiana Ekberg. “I also don’t think that it’s fair that they have to wear a mask while playing sports either because it’s very difficult when you are running up and down a basketball court trying to keep a mask on your face. They start off as the mask on, and then it goes under their nose, and then it becomes chin guards and we see that all too often happening.”===

    No problem.

    Take away accreditation, no sports.

    Anything else?

    Oh…

    Wear a mask. It saves lives.


  4. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:37 am:

    Maybe, just maybe, high school sports aren’t important for the majority. I realize for some of these kids sports is what gets them college scholarships and I feel for them. But not to the point where their scholarships are more important than other people’s lives.


  5. - truthteller - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:47 am:

    crocodile tears. I watched a high schools girls basketball game in where all players had masks on and did NOT impact their performance in any manner. We either want to safeguard our kids or not and if YOU don’t then you should be held LIABLE for any sickness YOUR kids gets and any other kids may get because of that.


  6. - Brown not listed yet but.... - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Well, Brown is going into close session tonight at 6pm. Then back into open session to consider amending their plan. Stay tuned it was a close vote last time with a deciding vote to unmask.


  7. - Jocko - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    ==I don’t think that that’s fair==

    Have you and, if eligible, your children been vaccinated to help stop the spread of the virus. How about doing your fair share?


  8. - The Dude - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    I can run a 6 min mile without a mask… I cant keep anywhere near that pace with a mask. I’ve tried several times in several different types of conditions( cold, hot, humid) throughout the last year. I’ve actually lowered my time in last year so it isn’t like I got slower.

    I’m getting real sick of people out there making rules without even trying it themselves. I promise you if you tried it you would change your mind on mandating mask on cardio like athletics.

    Years from now they will laugh at how stupid this one part of the pandemic when it comes to athletes and sports. You can say I’m stupid for actually trying it myself and forming my own opinion as much as you want but at least I came up with my own.


  9. - Skeptic - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    “There was a little school mask protest at ISBE yesterday…” TFW when your rally is dwarfed by the Stop the Steal rally back in 2020.


  10. - G'Kar - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    FWIW, Brimfield and Spoon River Boards changed their votes and will now enforce the mandate.

    https://www.pjstar.com/story/news/columns/nick-in-the-morning/2021/08/19/mask-mandates-illinois-school-district-reverses-previous-defiance/8192890002/


  11. - Elliott Ness - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    These districts are failing a very simple risk vs reward analysis. The liability alone is enough to make them pause, kids get to g sick, potentially due to no masking is basically childish by the adults. Unfortunately, kids are in the middle of adult and mostly political posturing. I understand that CDC recommends mask wearing and that is exactly what some of the district plans state. Wonder why CDC address guidelines do not “require” masks. Wish the CDC a would simply make that change.


  12. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 1:17 pm:

    “Reporters need to get the heck off Facebook. Social media is not reality. Provide some newsy balance to the online insanity, for crying out loud.”

    Thank you for saying this over and over, Mr. Miller. I’m in a battle with my local paper (via email, very professional) to do this very thing. Piece after piece about the anti-mask mandate complainers with no balance regarding the importance of the policy, the support is really has in our community, and the lack of any scientific support for the anti-mask position. So frustrating.


  13. - Saluki 1964 - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    Just a bunch of excuses.

    My son played high school soccer in the spring. His coach insisted the players figure out how to keep their masks on their faces. And guess, what, for the most part the masks stayed over their noses. Played 2 x 40 minutes halves running the whole time and they all did just fine.

    Most of the other teams let their players wear them around until our coach would insist the referee makes them put their masks on. And guess what, the masks were able to stay over their noses.
    Coaches need to be examples and understand it’s part of the uniform, just like shin guards, gloves and helmets.


  14. - Nobody Sent - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    Next on the agenda of those opposed to requiring masks in school — require schools to present the alternative view that the earth is flat out of respect for other’s opinions.


  15. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    === These districts are failing a very simple risk vs reward analysis. ===

    I disagree. Saying your going to let parents decide whether their kids wear masks, and then reversing course after bei. Threatened by ISBE and blaming the districts lawyers is a Republican Trifecta.

    This is classic brinkmanship policy making.


  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===I can run a 6 min mile without a mask===

    Outside sports don’t require a mask.


  17. - SAP - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    If Spider-Man can fight Green Goblin and Doc Ock with a mask on, kids can wear a mask during a soccer game.


  18. - LakeCo - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    =I promise you if you tried it you would change your mind on mandating mask on cardio like athletics.=
    Wait…what? What are you even talking about? You know that masks are a tool to stop the pandemic, right? It’s not about your mile time. So as long as there’s a virus out there, no, I’m not going to change my mind on masking athletics. Not when the alternative is a bunch of people breathing in each other’s faces indoors…


  19. - Skeptic - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    “I can run a 6 min mile without a mask… I cant keep anywhere near that pace with a mask.” And … ? I can’t hit a baseball as far with a wooden bat as aluminum. But if everyone has the same handicap, what’s the big deal?


  20. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    Hate to pick on The Dude but his comment is a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance I hear from most anti maskers and vaxxers. They seem unable or unwilling to see the forest through the trees and think those on the opposite side of the issue are silly for seeing the big picture.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===I’m getting real sick of people out there making rules without even trying it themselves. I promise you if you tried it you would change your mind on mandating mask on cardio like athletics.===

    This made me laugh out loud.

    We do medical procedures every day. Masks work. Every day. Covid or not.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    === Years from now they will laugh at how stupid this one part of the pandemic when it comes to athletes and sports.===

    Yeah, probably not.

    Between college and pro football striving for 100% vaccination and shaming athletes who refuse to get vaccinated then test positive (Rizzo)… yeah, I doubt that.

    ===You can say I’m stupid for actually trying it myself and forming my own opinion as much as you want but at least I came up with my own.===

    It’s a global pandemic.

    If it were about individuals then we wouldn’t have 400,000 US deaths… but…


  23. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    Why aren’t they protesting outside of operating rooms demanding that the doctors be unmasked. I mean, if masks are bad and useless why not free the doctors from wearing them.


  24. - Basic - Thursday, Aug 19, 21 @ 10:15 pm:

    OW should play RM 1 on 1 basketball half court to 11 win by 2. Masks not optional. Facebook Live it all.


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