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West Virginia health groups recommend mask mandates for schools

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - While Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s board of educatin are not currently doing so, some state health organizations are recommending students returning to school wear masks.

State health organizations, in an open letter to schools, want county boards of education and school administrators to implement universal masking.

12 health organizations call universal masking “essential and effective step to prevent transmission of COVID-19, particularly in children under 12 years of age.

Wood County’s board of education plans to discuss masking at a Friday morning meeting. In that school system, it’s currently an option.

The same is true in neighboring Pleasants County.

”Right now, masks are optional in Pleasants County Schools,” Superintendent Michael Wells said Monday. “However, that information will be changed or updated as something changes with the governor’s office or state health officials. I’ve shared our plan with (the board of education), and they seem to be OK with that.”

Guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC states all students, school staff and visitors to schools should wear face masks in school, regardless of vaccination status.

Gov. Justice said Wednesday that, while he is not recommending masks at this point, the state will have to adjust if the situation gets worse.

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