Ritchie County Schools under “temporary” mask mandate

Student in mask
Student in mask(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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RITCHIE COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) - The superintendent of Ritchie County Schools hopes a mask requirement now in effect for the school system will be temporary.

The mandate went into effect shortly after the start of the school year last week, after several employees and students had to be quarantined.

The requirement involves students and employees in school buildings and buses, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. But the quarantine only involves those who test positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Jim Brown says the situation has led to a shortage of available employees.

”This week, we continue to have additional cases of students and employees testing positive, which is requiring more individuals to be quarantined,” Brown told us. “It’s really for us the mask mandate is around, being able to staff our schools.”

At his briefing Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice continued to state he is not issuing a statewide mask mandate, particularly aimed at schools, but also continued to state that could change, depending on whether the number of cases continues to rise. There are now more than 11,000 active cases in West Virginia.

The state is increasingly concerned about hospitalizations, which also continue to rise.

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