BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. - The Bucks County Health Department revised their school guidance to include a recommendation for masking of all students this fall.
"From the beginning of the pandemic, the Bucks County Health Department has worked collaboratively with our schools and hospitals to gather data and develop sensible guidance for our community. The guidance issued most recently to the schools was done in partnership with the district superintendents and was designed to allow the districts to make decisions based on data provided to them by the Health Department. While our cases have increased in Bucks over the past few weeks, our hospitalizations and deaths have not risen in a corresponding way. Our hospitals have effectively handled the rise in cases," the health department said in a statement.
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Officials add hospitals in Bucks County have limited ability to treat severe pediatric cases of any type. While the county's COVID-19 cases among school-aged children remain very low, hospitals are growing concerned that any pediatric COVID-19 cases could stress the system.
Hospitals in Bucks County have now recommended that schools begin the fall semester with a mask requirement.
"This is particularly important for students who are unvaccinated, which includes all students under 12," the health department said.
"At this point, we have so much really good information out there, to think otherwise is beyond comprehension, as far as I’m concerned," resident and medical professional Jayne Lester said.
But, just like many other communities, parents are divided.
"If you know kids want to wear a mask, great and if people want to wear a mask, great. I mean, we are a year and a half into this. I think we are, kind of, figuring out everything," parent Julie Druzak said.
Druzak says she is more comfortable with parents making masking decisions, not school or county leaders.
"I really feel like everyone should have their own choice, whatever you feel like doing. Same thing with vaccines. If you feel good getting a vaccine, great. If you don’t, great. But, I think everyone needs to respect everyone’s ideals," Druzak remarked.
All other school guidance issued Sunday by the county remains in effect.