Waynesboro Public Schools to continue with masking in face of Youngkin order
Waynesboro Public Schools will continue universal masking for students and staff, in the face of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order declaring that parents can now make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school beginning next week.
“While the school division is aware of Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order Number Two, universal masking is in alignment with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance for schools,” Waynesboro Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Cassell wrote in an email to parents Wednesday night, in which he also cited state law requiring that school divisions provide in-person instruction for students while adhering to the CDC masking requirements for schools.
That law remains in effect until August.
“The CDC recommends multiple ‘layers’ of prevention strategies to minimize disease transmission,” Cassell said. “These layers include vaccination, universal indoor masking, physical distancing, testing, ventilation, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection. No one layer is 100 percent effective, therefore use of multiple strategies is important, especially during this period of high community transmission. Universal masking is one ‘layer’ that has been successful and allows our schools to stay open and safer places for students to learn.
“The school division will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and the Central Shenandoah Health Department and consult with these medical professionals to make the most appropriate decisions for our schools,” Cassell said.
Story by Chris Graham