As Custer County returned to the low-risk transmission level for the coronavirus, Mackay school board members considered requiring face masks in the low, green level of their response plan.
However, since no board member made a motion to vote on the issue, it died at the Nov. 9 meeting.
“We have some board members who believe in masks,” Mackay Superintendent Susan Buescher said the day after the meeting, “and those that don’t.”
There are people who don’t believe the science when it comes to covering mouths and noses during a pandemic, she said. Despite being in a state of emergency since March, the rising case count in Idaho and the fact that masks have been deemed the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, Buescher said some people still feel they do more harm than good.
However, Buescher said most people in the school district “feel like masks are important and the reason we’ve stayed open since the first closure.”
Buescher is encouraged by how Mackay students have taken to masks the last few months. Despite adults possibly influencing them otherwise, Buescher said the majority of students grew accustomed to coverings as Custer County was in the yellow, moderate-risk category.
“Some of the kids who weren’t so sure at first are coming into my office wearing masks now,” Buescher said.
She thinks students do a better job of covering their faces in public and at schools because they have more to lose if an outbreak occurs. They want to play sports, be with their friends and receive a quality education, Buescher said, so they’re willing to put up with the minor inconvenience.