Milwaukee School Officials Reinstate Mask Mandate One Day After Lifting


Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) announced Tuesday evening that masks will again be mandatory for students and staff in all district buildings, effective Wednesday.

This comes after the district’s mask mandate expired on Monday. Students spent one day on Tuesday without masks required, as they had Monday off.

MPS says the decision was made after a “significant transmission of the virus within the city of Milwaukee.”

However, right now, the city health department says the city is in the low category by CDC standards. But its 7-day burden rate is in substantial transmission.

Back in March, the school board voted to give the administration full control to make decisions about slowing the spread of COVID-19. And the district can go back to making masks optional once it feels the COVID risk goes down.

MPS originally told us that it would look to move an individual school back to a mask mandate if 1.5 percent of a building tests positive. Right now, only one school in the district meets that threshold. We reached out to multiple people for clarification on this decision, but have yet to hear back.

“The mask policy is in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” MPS said in a statement Tuesday. “The district has the option to revert back to a mask-optional policy if it is determined that there is not a significant risk of virus transmission within the city of Milwaukee and/or the school district. Masks will continue to be available for students and staff in all district buildings.”

District procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 will continue, including access to testing. Staff and students are currently encouraged to take the following steps to stay safe and healthy:

  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Get vaccinated and boosted.
  • Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
  • Follow quarantine and isolation practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Sanitize surfaces often.
  • Maintain use of HEPA filtration units and change filters as needed. 

    The district encourages families to watch for communications from their child’s school and the district on changing conditions.