Local health officials issue new mask recommendations

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WLAX) — Health officials in La Crosse and Eau Claire counties issued new recommendations Friday in response to the CDC’s change to its mask guidance. Both counties now recommend everyone age 2 and older wear a mask in public indoor settings.

Eau Claire County added that all teachers, students, staff and visitors to schools are expected to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

La Crosse County’s call for wearing masks indoors also included any indoor private gathering.

Despite the CDC’s recommendations, Eau Claire and Altoona School Districts aren’t planning on requiring face coverings this year; however, both districts’ superintendents said that could change with the virus. They spoke Friday at the Eau Claire area Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues event about the upcoming school year.

“Parents make a thousand decisions for their children every single day,” Altoona School District Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos said. “And while sometimes people want us to control every factor and make those decisions for everyone, in this case we’re going to share all the information with parents and ask them to make the choice that’s best for their child.” 

Eau Claire School District Superintendent Michael Johnson noted that they will follow any mandates required.

“If there were a mandate at the state or national level or local level, that’s what we’d do,” he said. “And if case numbers at a certain grade level or school or classroom got significantly higher, we’d be able to do the same.”

Both superintendents said their districts will have safety protocols, such as physical distancing, in place. Both districts also have fully online options available to students.

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