Face masks optional for Gates County students/staff
Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022
GATESVILLE – The Gates County Board of Education has approved a measure that makes the wearing of face masks optional for students (grades K-12) and staff.
The school board made that decision at their meeting on Monday (Feb. 7). All five members of the board voted in favor of the measure, which becomes effective on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The board did include several stipulations within their decision to include that school metrics for COVID cases/quarantines must remain at five percent or under for students and staff on each of the school system’s five campuses.
If more than five percent of students and staff at a school are quarantined, that school will return to mandatory masks for seven consecutive school days.
Meanwhile, due to a federal executive order, the wearing of face masks remains mandatory for all students and staff onboard school buses.
Gates County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Williams stated that the system will continue COVID mitigation strategies and the monitoring of COVID cases. He added that actions to address positive cases and exposures will also continue in accordance with the NC Strong Schools Toolkit for grades K-12.
“The Board of Education is hopeful that everyone will continue to practice safety measures and strongly encourage those who want to wear a mask to continue to do so,” Williams stated in a press release. “Additionally, all staff and parents are reminded to please self-monitor and monitor students for COVID-19 symptoms and if/when symptoms of COVID-19 are present, please do not attend school or send students to school.”