HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WHTM) – Soon, some Pennsylvania kids will be able to go to school without masks.
On Monday, Gov. Wolf said his administration plans to lift the statewide school mask mandate on January 17, 2022. That will leave it up to individual school districts to decide whether to require masks.
Pennsylvania mother Amanda Fromille has five children and is a school bus driver. She says her family is anxiously awaiting the day when they can go without a mask.
“They were very happy. I told my children and they asked me: is it January already?” Fromille said. “My personal opinion, I wish it would come earlier, but it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel for them.”
Other parents are in favor of universal masking in schools and are concerned that the end of the state rule will put their children’s health at risk. UPMC infectious disease specialist Dr. John Goldman says vaccination is the best way to protect children from COVID.
“The safest thing is to vaccinate your children,” Goldman said.
Masking can also help keep them safe, but Goldman says it’s not always required.
“I’m not sure there is a one-size-fits-all answer: can you take off the mask?” Goldman said. “If there are a lot of diseases, if there is an outbreak in your school, the children must be masked, the children must be more careful even if they are vaccinated. If there is very little disease, you can be less careful. ”
For those who want to keep their children masked, it can still be useful, even if others around them decide not to.
“Wearing a mask yourself, even when other people aren’t, I think it provides substantial protection,” Goldman said.
Some families are more than ready to end the masking and hope it will be forever.
“I am not worried about my children putting them in school without a mask. I’m not worried about putting on a mask. Like, I’m not worried about it at all, ”Fromille said. “I am ready for my children, my family, and everyone to return to normal. And I’m over it.”