TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Troy City Schools will implement a mask requirement for all students, staff, teachers and visitors to the district beginning Wednesday.

In the first few weeks of school, Troy City Schools has had nearly as many positive COVID-19 cases as they did total last year.

So far this school year, 123 Troy students have tested positive, last year, there were 146 total positive student cases.

“We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of students missing school in those 18 days, and we know that children need to be in school,” Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said.

The district is now requiring masks for all students and staff when six feet of distancing isn’t possible in an attempt to cut back on COVID-19 spread and quarantines.

As the district’s cases climb, some parents are glad to see the district implement this policy.

“It makes me feel really sad and scared because I don’t want to see children suffering, and this virus can be very deadly, and so I don’t want to see children suffering, I don’t want to see them sick or anything like that,” Troy City Schools parent Jessica Nicklels said. “We want to see them in school where they belong.”

Another troy parent, Amanda Warner said her child’s school has the lowest number of cases, and because each building is impacted differently, the decision to mask students should be left up to the parents.

“Now we’re hearing they’re going to mandate the masks, and I think it should be the parents’ choice,” Warner said. “We are the parents of those kids, and I understand they’re trying to prevent an outbreak of the COVID, but when you have a low rating at that school, I don’t understand why they have to choose if my kid has to wear a mask or not.”

The district will work with Miami County Public Health to monitor the cases, and as cases go down, they will consider reversing this mask policy.

“It’s not all or nothing, I think we can implement a smart way to give kids plenty of opportunities to take them off, but what we need is for students to avoid being close contacts,” Piper said.