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Botetourt County school officials share plans for universal masking requirement

Coronavirus

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Botetourt County school officials announced plans Friday for a universal masking mandate for students, staff, and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — as the county experiences a high community transmission rate for the coronavirus.

This comes after Botetourt County Public Schools released a statement last week saying that masks would be optional in indoor instructional settings.

issued the following statement about the updated mask policy on Friday, Aug. 6:

“Botetourt County has experienced a high COVID-19 community transmission rate recently. Unfortunately, this trend is the reality of many counties and states across the nation. The pandemic has clearly taught us that we must remain flexible in an ever-changing situation.

On August 4th the CDC updated its guidelines for K-12 schools. They announced:

Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students, staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

On August 5th Governor Ralph Northam issued a reminder that all public school divisions are legally mandated to implement CDC guidelines, in accordance with Senate Bill 1303. This bill, enacted in March of this year, reads,

Each school board shall provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for… elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Botetourt County Public Schools will abide by the updated CDC guidelines. Effective immediately, masks will be universally required by all students, staff, teachers, and visitors to our schools, regardless of vaccination status. This requirement applies to all upcoming open houses, orientations, and other gatherings prior to the start of the school year.”

Botetourt County Public Schools

For more information on the COVID-19 response at Botetourt County Public Schools, click here.

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