Gov. Jay Inslee announced back in February that the statewide mask mandate for indoor facilities and schools would be lifted March 12.
PHS will follow the governors lead and lift the mask mandate for students and staff starting March 14.
Assistant Principal, Cassie Ridenour, said that the mask mandate being lifted is because of the reduction in cases.
“Based on the statements that have been released, it sounds like there’s enough of a reduction in the case loads of COVID-19, enough of a reduction in the number of folks ending up in the hospital, and a big enough desire to return to a feeling of normalcy that the governor and the Department of Health feel that it is time to balance the positives and the negatives,” Ridenour said.
Ridenour said that without masks being mandated, the school will still take precautions against COVID-19.
“We are going to continue to maintain all of the sanitizing measures that have continued to take place,” Ridenour said. “Masks are still optional, anybody who wants to wear a mask can. I’m going to continue to wear a mask myself, out of an abundance of caution and to make sure that students who want to wear a mask feel like they can. We will also continue to ensure that students who report that they’re positive, quarantine appropriately… all of the sanitizing efforts that we can do, we will be doing.”
Current CDC guidelines say that if an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, they should quarantine and isolate themselves from others for five days. After they have quarantined, they should wear a mask around others for 10 days.
Puyallup High School’s COVID-19 Coordinator, Jazzmin Lindsey said that the reduction in cases at PHS is caused by students’ cooperation.
“I will say that PHS has slowed down so much, you guys are doing amazing. I’m not going to lie, in January it was like a run for my money, I was pulling out my hair. I had like seven [kids] a day, now were sitting at maybe one or two a week,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey also said that if we want the mask mandate to stay lifted and you are sick, “stay home.”
Teacher Willie Walker said that he doesn’t think the mask mandate did much.
“I don’t really think mask work as well as everybody says because even when we wore masks early on, everybody was still getting it; it wasn’t until we started taking the shots, then it started slowing down. So, I don’t really think the mask mandate did much,” Walker said.