A message released by Superintendant James Tager of the Bangor School Department, late Friday afternoon, outlined the change Bangor Schools will be making to their masking requirements.

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Following the recent changes in CDC recommendations, Tager said Bangor schools would be moving to make masks "optional" instead of "required."

Tager said the change would start, across the board, on Wednesday, March 9.

In a letter he sent out to parents of Bangor school students, Tager started by thanking staff, families and students for resilience during the last couple of years, through the pandemic. He also acknowledged that this change has been received with mixed feelings by staff, students, and parents alike.

"A new standard operating procedure is forthcoming from the state and we will update our reopening plan at that time. We are no longer required to contact trace when a positive case is discovered. What this means for families, is that we will not have to quarantine individuals from school if they are a close contact to a positive case, including people choosing not to wear a mask."

Tager says the advice for people who are ill with any of the Covid-19 Screening symptoms to remain home if they are sick will stay in place. And he emphasized that the Bangor School System will continue to support children and families who deal with the challenges of being immune-compromised. Tager recommends that parents who are concerned about the immunity of their kids reach out to their school nurse or principal to work out a health plan.

"I encourage all health concerned people to continue to wear a mask, as that is their personal choice."

In a joint statement put out by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Education this week, universal masking guidance has been updated, based on a decline in Covid-19 cases in Maine, shown in the latest round of statistics that came out at the end of last month.

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