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UCSD returns to medium threshold, masks remain optional

Maggie Nelson
The loosened masking rules took effect on Monday, after the city reported zero active community acquired COVID-19 cases the prior week.

Masks will remain optional at Unalaska schools, despite the district returning to its medium COVID-19 transmission threshold, according to Unalaska City School District officials.

The loosened masking rules took effect on Monday, after the city reported zero active community acquired COVID-19 cases the prior week. According to the district’s mitigation plan, that drop meant the schools would shift their transmission level to low and masks would no longer be required.

But then, the city’s case count rose over the weekend, quickly pushing the schools transmission threshold back up to “medium,” after just one day at the lower level. As of Friday, the city reported a total of six active community cases.

Despite the return to “medium,” masking will remain optional in school buildings, according to Superintendent Robbie Swint Jr. Under the medium threshold, the district can require face coverings at school, if the city's emergency operations center advises the increase in protocol.

“Masks are still recommended, not required, because it doesn't pose any danger as of right now,” he said.

Masks are, however, still required on the buses. The district’s masking requirement is an ongoing discussion with the city’s emergency operations center and clinic staff, Swint said.

Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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