Roanoke and Salem School Divisions Announce Mask Requirement | Education
The school district, which serves 14,000 students, has identified about 60 students and about 60 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who have exposed at least one other person in a school setting over the past year, says the school’s website.
Meanwhile, at a Salem school board meeting on Tuesday night, Assistant Superintendent Curtis Hicks said that as long as community transmission of COVID-19 remains high, all students and staff will be required to wear masks.
“We’re all deeply disappointed that we’re still sitting here today talking about this,” Hicks said. “Not a single one of us wants our kids to take care of this.”
Indeed, out of six parents who spoke during the public comments, five were against a mask requirement. But due to public health guidelines that changed last week, officials at the Salem School said they had no choice but to demand masks.
“Before that changed, we were prepared to say that vaccinated students would in some cases have the option,” Hicks said, adding that the guidelines may change next week. “Right now … everyone has to wear a mask at school.”
Salem’s board of directors unanimously passed a motion that included the mask requirement.
Salem has scalable COVID-19 mitigation strategies in place with some requirements, such as masks, becoming unnecessary during times of low community transmission.