SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Unified School District says it might have to bring back its mask mandate as the community transmission rate of COVID increases.
Meanwhile, parents are noticing their children getting sicker this year than in previous years.
"I have three kids and we've been sick pretty much non-stop since September. They had strep three times, COVID, and then a cold that ran through the family," said Andrea Schrinp, a mother of three.
Colds and the COVID virus are ramping up in children as the region heads into the winter months.
"Definitely our kids, I think, have been getting sick more often. Whether that has been regulated by masks or not, I'm not sure," said Christopher Miles, a father of two young children.
The Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) isn't taking any chances. It's considering reinstating an indoor mask mandate if COVID cases keep climbing.
"We wanted to let our school communities know that Sacramento County has now moved from the low CDC community level to the medium level, so that means COVID is impacting our community. We're seeing that here in our schools," said Victoria Flores, who is the executive director for Sacramento City Unified's Student Support and Health Services.
The district says they'll require mask-wearing for students if the county hits the high community transmission level.
According to their COVID dashboard, they have 155 active cases right now and a vast majority of them are in students.
"Adding masking back on when that risk is really high for being exposed to COVID just gives us that one extra tool we need to keep our schools open and keep our students able to come to school healthy and safe," said Flores.
However, parents from the area are on the fence about if children should go back to wearing masks.
"I feel a little bit more leaning on the against side, just given that I think kids should have a little more freedom. You know, I've heard stories where it is a little difficult for kids. They want to have freedom to play and be able to breathe fresh air," said Miles.
By contrast, Schrinp says she would be grateful for the move.
"We're definitely still masking when we're inside, like, a classroom-type environment and in the library. So it would be great if everybody were doing the same, because that'd definitely work better to prevent illness spread," she said.
The San Juan Unified School District says it's seeing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases among students and staff after coming back from Thanksgiving. However, they're not mandating masks but they strongly recommend using them while students are inside.