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"Probably not time to take the foot off the gas..." Vigo County Schools to continue masking as cases decline

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - COVID-19 cases are on a downward trend in Vigo County Schools.

The numbers may be down, but school officials say the threat of COVID-19 is still very real.

As far as restrictions loosening, that is going to be up to the school corporation's COVID-19 task force and local health officials.

For the time being, masks are not going anywhere in Vigo County Schools.

That is despite the downward trend in cases.

Cases are dropping, but Vigo County Schools' director of communications Bill Riley says there is still a ways to go.

"Probably not time to take the foot off the gas just yet, but, again, that's a topic for our experts to weigh in on," said Riley.

At the peak of student quarantines, 134 cases were reported in students with almost 500 in quarantine.

Nearly 30 staff were positive.

Then a month after that, the mask mandate had been reinstated in Vigo County Schools for two weeks.

Only 93 students and 14 staff were positive at that point.

As of Wednesday, there are only 45 students and fewer than 10 staff members positive for COVID-19.

Riley says the mask mandate that went into effect about a month ago is helping some.

"I think it's evidence that masks were limiting some spread...Certainly not out of the woods yet, you know, 272 cases over the last week in Vigo County is still rather high," said Riley.

Riley says they are not going to make any major changes in mask policies until the task force says so.

"People are still getting very very sick and dying from COVID-19 and so, we're, we're trying to do everything we can to protect our students, protect our staff, protect our community," said Riley.

That is because case numbers are not quite where they want them to be just yet.

"It's still really, really high nowhere near where we were last, this summer. So we'd love to see those numbers continue to drop," said Riley.

Riley also told News 10 the majority of cases in the schools are coming from unmasked environments outside of school.

He says community transmission is the main cause of the cases they still have.

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