Flexible Masking Has Been Repealed at WHS

Maggie Hanlon 24’, Contributing Writer

On December 16, Mr. Callaghan, principal at Westborough High School, sent an email about flexible masking from Superintendent Amber Bock. The email stated that flexible masking will be repealed on December 20. This announcement comes two weeks after flexible masking started at WHS and Gibbons Middle School.

As of December 16, there have been 5,763 new cases in Massachusetts and 1,047 in Middlesex county. The number of cases is rising and has been since mid-October.

The Omicron variant has recently entered the United States. Dr.Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States stated, “Whatever it is, the disease seems to be less severe. Whether it’s inherently less pathogenic as a virus or whether there’s more protection in the community, we’re just going to have to see when it comes in the United States. And for sure … it is going to be dominant in the United States, given its doubling time.”

The Omicron disease multiplies 70 times faster than the original Covid 19 in the bronchial tubes. The variant is said to be less dangerous and deadly but the fast spreading disease could infect more people then the original Covid 19. The Covid 19 vaccine does not target the Omicron variant, so even vaccinated people are vulnerable to the variant.

When flexible masking was announced there were many students and staff who were against this decision. Many teachers protested against it by wearing all black to school on the first day of flexible masking, and by gathering at the end of the school day. There was also a protest held at Gibbons Middle School and Westborough High School against flexible masking as well on December 6. Students were also seen participating in this protest.

Throughout the flexible masking time period, many students have kept their masks on but some have chosen to take off their masks. It has been a controversial subject at Westborough High School. The reason for the flexible masking repeal is said to “provide some peace of mind to everyone in the week heading into the winter break,” as many are visiting people who are at risk.

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