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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

80% Of Mason City Schools Staff Want The COVID Vaccine. But Will They Get It?

mason high school
Courtesy of WCPO
During the 2020-21 school year, Mason High School alone saw enrollment exceed 3,500, making it the largest high school by enrollment in Ohio.

While staff members across the Mason City School District largely want the COVID-19 vaccine, there may be some delay.

The district surveyed nearly 1,200 staff members and 80% said they want the vaccine. But Public Information Officer Tracey Carson said the Warren County Health Department is only receiving 300 doses a week. She said there isn't a specific timeline from the state to get staff vaccinated, and the county’s health department isn’t receiving too many answers either.

"Obviously, there are people who are probably working on those plans at the state and federal level," Carson said. "We need that definitely to happen."

Carson said the district has already put a lot of planning into place for vaccinations and some staff members may be prioritized.

"No matter what in Mason, we’re ready and we will have planning for A, B, C, D, E, F, G scenarios," Carson said. "We know we have staff that are eager and ready to do that."

This comes a week after Governor Mike DeWine announced plans to get school personnel and staff vaccinated. He specified schools must commit to in-person or hybrid instruction by March 1.

Mason City Schools are currently doing hybrid instruction five days a week. Roughly 75% of students in the district are doing classes in-person.

At least 280 students and 101 staff members in the district have tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.