Charles City schools requiring masks indoors as schools reopen for in-person instruction
Following the recommendations of the Center of Disease and Control (CDC) and an emergency health order issued by State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver on behalf of Governor Ralph Northam, Charles City County Public Schools will require masks in an indoor setting.
The announcement came during Charles City’s School Board monthly meeting Tuesday night.
“Masks will be required for all, regardless of vaccination status,” said Superintendent of Schools Dalphine Joppy. “We are going to follow CDC guidelines and the governor’s orders for indoor settings, both public and private places. We are going to keep this in place until the order is rescinded.”
Joppy noted that there are a few exceptions to the mask requirement. Those with documented medical conditions, religious exemptions, and disabilities that prevents them from wearing masks will be excused. Other exemptions include indoor participation in physical education activities, as well as athletics.
Joppy continued, saying that even with the requirement of masks, the push to get employees vaccinated as well as mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant remain in place.
“We currently have 104 Charles City school employees who are fully vaccinated,” she commented. “Still, we will use desk shields, social distancing of three free, as well as cleaning, disinfecting, and other strategies.
“We will have signage as well as conduct routine health screenings as well,” Joppy continued. “We know that in-person instruction is important to our students, and we are taking every precaution possible when we welcome them back five days a week into the school building.”
Vice-chairwoman and District 1 representative Joy Harris asked the public for patience as school doors are scheduled to open next month.
“This is a process, and we ask those parents, staff, and the community to work with us through these times,” Harris said. “The information we receive everyday is everchanging and we are navigating through it just like everybody else out here. I just ask for you all to be patient.”
Charles City schools are scheduled to open Sept. 7.