On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf enacted a state-wide mask mandate for K-12 students.By Meghan Schiller

CANONSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — As school districts maneuver the battle over masking, COVID-19 is spreading through local classrooms.

Now more than 50 students from the Canon-McMillan School District sit in quarantine.

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“This was easily predictable, personally,” said Jerry Bachmann, parent of a student in the district.

KDKA’s Meghan Schiller talked with Bachmann, who received the phone call no parent wants to hear: “Your child was exposed to COVID and will need to quarantine.”

“Honestly, I would take the risk of any side effects of the vaccination over the risk of sending him to school right now,” Bachmann said.

Canon-McMillan students returned to the classroom last week with no mask requirement. Just days later, COVID-19 exposures landed more than 50 students back at home. Bachmann’s ex-wife received the phone call on Sunday.

“She said from the school principal on Sunday at 1 o’clock saying that our son Aaron had to quarantine until the 7th, the day after Labor Day,” he said.

Bachmann said the school told him a teacher exposed his son to COVID-19.

“He’s staying with me while I try to work from home with him bouncing off the walls,” Bachmann said.

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At the high school, Canon-McMillan said two staff members tested positive, along with two students. Contact tracing sent 50 students into quarantine.

“Given that it’s been just a handful days into the school year and we’re already doing a quarantine, the high school’s doing a quarantine, I don’t see how we can get through the entire school year without every single kid getting exposed to COVID,” Bachmann said.

Canon-McMillan High School Principal Ken Crowley released this statement to KDKA:

“At this time, we have two staff members and two students who have tested positive at the high school. Contact tracing was conducted and approximately 50 students are being quarantined from the school. Any quarantined student may be tested starting tomorrow [Tuesday] and if negative may return to school on Tuesday due to the holiday weekend. They would be eligible to return to extracurriculars on Saturday. We are having students log in to Schoology and having them complete their assigned work remotely ”

On Monday, a federal judge denied a group of parents’ requests after they argued the district should make masks mandatory because they believe it’s the best way to keep kids in the classroom. The judge said those decisions shouldn’t come from the courts.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Tom Wolf enacted a state-wide mask mandate for K-12 students.

Bachmann told KDKA he’s happy to hear it.

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“Like Florida had these massive outbreaks, it’s like, why do they have them? Well, lots of people getting together without masks that weren’t vaccinated. It’s pretty straightforward,” he said.

Meghan Schiller