Board of Ed approves new masking policy in schools… Effective Jan. 18, 2022


Effective Jan. 18, 2022

By Brittany Hively - bhively@aimmediamidwest.com



The Mason County Board of Education discussed new masking policies at this week’s board meeting.

The Mason County Board of Education discussed new masking policies at this week’s board meeting.


Brittany Hively | OVP

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Board of Education voted 5-0 to implement a new mask policy effective Jan. 18, 2022.

Board members present at the meeting were President Dale Shobe, Vice President Rhonda Tenant, Meagan Bonecutter, Jared Billings and Ashley Cossin. Superintendent Keith Burdette was also in attendance.

The agenda item discussing the 2021-22 school year was pulled for discussion by several board members.

“We’ve been discussing this for awhile,” Shobe said, referencing the county’a masking policy.

Bonecutter said several counties have policies based on case numbers and percentages. She also mentioned that Burdette had presented the board with the numbers for each school if the board chose to go by masking with a specific percentage of positive cases.

“I would like to see us get a plan together,” Bonecutter said.

Burdette mentioned a recent discussion with the superintendent from Preston County who said they were doing masks if numbers were above 2% positive cases and 7% of students were in quarantine. He also said the West Virginia Board of Education’s website lists each county and the policy the county is currently using.

During the discussion it was noted that masks would be required on buses due to state mandates.

Burdette said there are currently 14 active COVID-19 cases and 27 quarantines across the county.

The second semester of the school year starts Jan. 12, 2022. Cossin said she would like to start the new policy the week after the semester starts to give a two-week grace period after the holidays. Bonecutter said she liked the idea.

Billings asked how the Mason County Career Center would work with students from different schools in attendance.

After a brief discussion, it was decided that students would go by their home school’s masking status.

The board members agreed to continue the current quarantine policy — if exposed, one can quarantine or continue to attend classes, as long as there are no symptoms, with a mask for 10 days.

Each Friday the case numbers will be looked at and schools with positive cases over 1% of students, will need to wear a mask the next week, with numbers being examined again the following Friday. There will also be a call made to those schools. If there is a large number of cases reported, such as an outbreak, the county will follow state guidelines.

After the discussion, Bonecutter made the motion to implement a 1% threshold for masking, with the same quarantine policy and continuing to mask on buses. Cossin seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Numbers for each school at 1% were given by Burdette.

Ashton Elementary- five cases, Beale Elementary- three cases, Leon Elementary- 2 cases, New Haven Elementary- 6 cases, Point Pleasant Intermediate School- four cases, Point Pleasant Primary School- five cases, Roosevelt Elementary- three cases, Hannan Junior/Senior High School- three cases, Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School- 13 cases and Wahama Junior/Senior High School- five cases.

The Mason County Board of Education sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon that said, “The school system will continue to work closely with the Mason County Health Department to monitor the presence of COVID-19 in schools and the community.

“Mason County Schools encourages all families to do all they can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, including keeping children home when they are sick, frequently washing hands, and considering whether vaccination is a viable option for your family. The Mason County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all eligible individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

As mentioned above, starting Jan. 18, 2022 masks will be optional for students and staff as long as the number of positive COVID cases in the school is below 1% of the students and staff, combined. Calls will be made each Friday if masks are to be work the following week.

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The Mason County Board of Education discussed new masking policies at this week’s board meeting.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/12/web1_IMG_2942.jpgThe Mason County Board of Education discussed new masking policies at this week’s board meeting. Brittany Hively | OVP
Effective Jan. 18, 2022

By Brittany Hively

bhively@aimmediamidwest.com

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.