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Masks required for LCPS students and staff

Lunenburg County Public School (LCPS) will open for in-person instruction Monday, Aug. 16, with a requirement that masks are required for all students, staff, and visitors inside the schools.

Charles Berkley, Jr.

The School Board voted Monday, Aug. 9, to implement mask-wearing.

Masking is optional for outdoor events.

“This policy follows the governor’s recommendation of last Thursday and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Guidelines,” said LCPS Superintendent Charles Berkley, Jr.

This decision is a change to an announcement earlier this summer that masking policies for students and staff would be a local decision, and LCPS had made mask-wearing optional for staff and students.

During a Thursday, Aug. 5 press conference by Gov. Ralph Northam, he indicated school divisions would be expected to adhere to Senate Bill 1303 that was passed in March, which states that public schools must provide in-person instruction in a manner that adheres to CDC guidance.

Following the press conference, the CDC updated its guidance Tuesday, Aug. 3, to call for universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Berkley said LCPS will be monitoring COVID-19 cases and will make any necessary changes or updates as directed by the governor’s office, CDC, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)

The VDH and VDOE recently released new guidance for pre-K through 12 schools for the upcoming school year.

Citing elementary schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers and staff wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until vaccination is available for children under 12 years old and there has been sufficient time to allow for children younger than 12 years old to be fully vaccinated.