Masks on school buses?

Most Lake area school districts will not require masks on buses

Joyce L. Miller
USA TODAY NETWORK
So far, it does not look like most school districts in the lake area will be requiring masks on school buses.

With the first day of the 2021-2022 school year fast approaching for thousands of students, districts around the lake area are reevaluating and finalizing return-to-school protocols as the Delta variant continues to spread.

While masks for unvaccinated staff and students are optional indoors, one of the big questions as students get ready to return is if they will be required to wear masks on school buses.

Following the Centers for Disease Control recommendations, emphasizing in-person learning, districts are preparing to return to the classroom with virtual options available if the need arises. So far, in checking with various districts in Camden and Miller counties, schools are leaving the question of whether or not unvaccinated students and staff wear masks indoors up to local school boards. So far, it does not look like any of the local districts will be requiring masks indoors. Masks are recommended for non-vaccinated students and staff allowed but not mandated.

The requirements for school buses are different. CDC classifies school buses as public transportation.

While the mask policy on school grounds may be optional, according to the CDC under the guidelines for public transportation, masks are required for students while being transported on school buses.

Barring any last minute changes, the Camdenton school board has not indicated requiring masks while on the buses. Eldon school superintendent Matt Davis confirmed they will not be requiring students to mask up on buses.

Although Macks Creek is still finalizing their plans, Superintendent Josh Phillips said at the present time masks will not be required. Climax Springs has chosen to take a different route and will be following the CDC guideline. 

School of the Osage does not have anything posted in the return-to-school plan specifically for transportation.

Districts have posted their return-to-school protocols on their websites. For a look at CDC and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's recommendations visit camdencountyhealth.org.