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Wood Co. Superintendent says mask policy about reducing quarantines

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - In their briefings, Gov. Jim Justice and his health experts have maintained local officials are the best option for making decisions on COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

“We left it to the local schools decision; we also left testing to a local decision as well, Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia Health Officer, said during the governor’s briefing Monday. “All these things are mitigations that are layered approaches.”

Late last week, Blennerhassett Middle School closed due to a COVID issue; the school reopened Tuesday. That was after the Wood County Board of Education required masks be worn in school buildings. Superintendent Will Hosaflook believes the issue is more about students-and teachers-being quarantined than about individuals having COVID.

“I think that’s the goal that everybody has, to keep all our students in school and face-to-face instruction,” Hosaflook says. “I would wear a hazmat suit to school every day if we could keep students in school.”

The superintendent says a policy requiring masks can limit the spread, even making social distancing less of a concern.

“I talk with superintendents every day-that’s the big thing. Students are being taken out of school every day because of the six-foot quarantine. But because we have masks on, there should be very few quarantines in our school system.”

The department of education reported Monday there are 59 outbreaks in school systems across the state.

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