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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Trinity Turns Towards Mask Optional

One class at Trinity shows some seniors masked and others unmasked, reflecting Trinity’s new mask policy.

Before Oct. 29, all students in classrooms wore masks. However, enter a classroom today, and you will see an assortment of students with and without masks. On Oct 29, Trinity’s announcement that classes are now mask-optional for grades 7 through 12, left students and their families deciding how they wanted to face the future.

According to the email sent by Byron Lawson to families on Oct. 29, Trinity’s decision to go mask optional for grades 7 through 12 was supported by recent statistics for both Trinity and nearby counties. The reported vaccination rate of employees is at 89%, and the rate of vaccine-eligible students is at 67%, along with the average of COVID-19 positive tests in nearby counties and on-campus decreasing. According to the email, the school has been COVID-free for 30 days and counting. Masks will continue to be required for 6th grade, visitors while indoors, and all-school chapels and assemblies. Science teacher Bryan Moretz is one of the many who do not wear a mask during class, and his decision to do so was assisted by vaccination

“I’m vaccinated,” Moretz said. “And based on the number of other teachers and [the] majority of students being vaccinated, I feel like it is safe.”

Moretz agrees with Trinity’s choice to go mask-optional and feels that the school has reached enough immunity to do so. “If we were to go back to more COVID cases, then [mask policy] should go back to mandatory for inside spaces,” Moretz said. “But overall, I am happy with the numbers.”

For Moretz, going mask-optional has made interactions with students easier as well.

“It’s just been easier since I can speak clearer,” Moretz said. “It’s easier for me to give directions and lectures.”

Ninth-grader Sasha Miller also agrees that not wearing a mask has made aspects easier.

“It’s just more comfortable, and I can breathe easier.”

Despite the announcement, some students still wear their masks. Tenth grader Kelsey Wang chooses to keep a mask on during class and believes that it still is not safe to go mask-optional.

“I’ve been sick,” Wang said. “And I think masks are primarily for protecting other people from the germs you might have.”

A few weeks ago, Wang caught a cold that has apparently been passing around campus and did not want to spread it to anyone else. Wang added that the school’s announcement about going mask-optional felt rushed.

“I just got an email for the visiting writer,” Wang said. “And they were like, ‘masks are still required, even though the school is going mask-optional.’ And I was like, wait, we’re going mask off?”

On the other hand, Moretz disagrees and thinks the decision to go mask-optional was to be expected.

“It was pretty clear that other schools were
doing it,” Moretz said. “There was evidence there to help support the decision.”

Melissa King-Polsinelli is the parent of two Trinity students and is on the fence about the school going mask-optional.

“I would like to be a little bit more informed about what the vaccination rate for students is,” King said. “They’ve done a pretty good job of telling us the adult vaccination rate.”

She also prefers that her children wear their masks and has asked them to do so.

“In Florida, there’s this sort of attitude that ‘oh, the pandemic is over, we don’t have to worry about it anymore,’” King said. “And I don’t think that’s true.”

King occasionally works as a substitute teacher for Trinity and expects more students to get sick because of flu season.

“Last year during the height of the pandemic, Ms. Rizzo told me that they didn’t buy as much Kleenex as they normally buy for classrooms because fewer people were getting sick,” King said. “So I think now that fewer people are wearing masks, there’s probably going to be an uptick in the flu cases.”

But both Moretz and King are not worried about the health of the students, mainly because
of vaccination. “Again, I’m vaccinated and I trust the science,” Moretz said. “But at the same time, if the percentage of students allows for it to be mask-optional, you know I’m going to follow the numbers.”

Overall, King’s family is healthy and has been in terms of nutrition and other things. “We’re all vaccinated fully,” King said. “So I’m not so worried about [the health of students]. I’m more worried about other people.”

But despite the varying opinions, King believes that choice to go mask-optional was to be expected.

“I think that it’s inevitable- that eventually we’re going to get to the point where masks aren’t worn and that it’s going to get back to normal, whatever that is,” King said. “Sooner or later.”

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About the Contributor
Iris Lei, Business Manager
Iris Lei is a junior entering her third year on staff as the Business Manager and Lifestyles staff writer. She enjoys knitting, playing with her dog and traveling to other states with actual seasons. Contact her at [email protected].

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