The Perfect Enemy | Kalamazoo superintendent says mask-optional prom spread COVID - Detroit Free Press
May 27, 2022

Kalamazoo superintendent says mask-optional prom spread COVID – Detroit Free Press

Kalamazoo superintendent says mask-optional prom spread COVID  Detroit Free Press

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The superintendent of Kalamazoo public schools is blaming a high school prom held last month at the Fetzer Center on the Western Michigan University campus for spreading coronavirus.

“Unfortunately,” MLive.com reported Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri said, “it ended up being a super spreader event causing multiple seniors to get sick and miss school.” 

The Free Press left messages with Loy Norrix High School, which held the prom, and Kalamazoo Public Schools officials. 

According to MLive, the district’s COVID-19 count showed 20 reported cases among students the week prior to prom.

After prom, the district reported 104 new cases in less than two weeks.

The outbreak offers evidence that as people begin to gather again — unmasked — in schools, workplaces and other indoor places, there is still a chance of catching COVID, a disease that has claimed millions of lives worldwide.

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Thursday, the World Health Organization said that nearly 15 million more people died during the pandemic than would have in normal times.

It also suggests that face masks can help guard against transmitting the virus.

Raichoudhuri’s remarks, at this week’s board of education meeting, noted that this year year’s prom was mask-optional, unlike the prom that was held last year and they were requires.

Last year, there were no outbreaks during prom.

At Wednesday’s meeting, MLive reported, Raichoudhuri recommended that “masks stay mandatory until Monday, May 30, in an effort to keep students from getting sick during state testing and final exams.”

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com.