Geneva D304 board punts on mask requirements for all students, staff; will vote next week

GENEVA – Though Geneva District 304 administrators put a plan forward to begin the new school year require universal indoor mask-wearing – when it was put to the school board to vote on it, they delayed a decision until the next regular meeting Aug. 9.

At a special school board meeting Monday, officials made the case for universal mask-wearing, which followed the latest CDC guidance.

Officials said they want full in-person learning, but they also considered input from insurers and legal professionals that warn school districts are at an increased liability risk if the new masking recommendations by the CDC are not followed.

“Masking is recommended as a safe, viable and manageable mitigation strategy for prevention of transmission of COVID-19, especially among the unvaccinated,” according to a presentation.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education have both issued statements that align with the CDC guidance, recommending universal mask-wearing inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

But when board members were asked to vote to approve the plan, they deferred in favor of waiting for more information on how the plan would work.