COVID cases at Cedar Grove school with masks optional

News of two positive cases of COVID-19 at Cedar Grove Middle School came a day after the district went mask-optional. 

Over the last year, we've almost come to expect a large sign on the door of a school or business saying "mask required," but you'll see no such signage at Cedar Grove. Masks are now optional in the district, and the superintendent says the two new positive cases are unrelated. 

"I think the first day, for sure, there were a lot of students and staff, administrators and parents, for sure, anxious coming in," said Chad Brakke, superintendent. "The unknowns, the pressures and just what was going to happen. I think day two was a little better."

Day two involved a letter sent home to parents saying two students tested positive for COVID-19 at the middle school but Brakke said the students were last in school in April, before the new mask policy went into effect. 

"You just try to move forward the best you can and do what’s best for students, staff and parents," he said. 

The district held a community discussion about its renovation plans Tuesday night, with most choosing the no-mask option. 

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((Photo Illustration by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images))

Gloria Teunissen said her grandchildren are loving the new rule. 

"They both said, 'Grandma, did you know we don’t have to wear masks anymore? Isn’t that great?'" said Teunissen.

While the kids may enjoy it, the CDC and state health officials still recommend schools mandate masks. Dr. Ryan Westergaard says masks are one of the best tools to stop community spread, children included.

"It’s true that they are at lower risk for severe risk, but there risk is not zero," he said.

While FOX6 has received several anonymous calls from concerned Cedar Grove parents, everyone we spoke to around town was in favor of the mask-optional rule. 

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