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Mask mandate in place in Tucker schools

PARSONS — Tucker County Schools has implemented a mask mandate for all students and staff due to rising COVID-19 numbers.

A TCS social media post stated, “Mask mandate issued effective immediately due to increased positives and quarantines in our schools.”

Tucker Superintendent of Schools Alicia Lambert elaborated in a letter to the public.

“I write this notice with regret, but effective immediately all Tucker County Schools will be under a mask mandate,” Lambert wrote. “We have watched our numbers from the beginning of school, but with the new guidance issued by the WVDE and the replacement of the 3-feet contact tracing to the previous 6-feet requirement, we have no choice but to enforce masks for the current time.

“We started our week with 16 positive cases and 51 quarantines; as of today, we have 21 positive cases and 79 quarantines,” Lambert wrote. “Per the new guidance issued by the WVDE, if all students/staff are wearing a mask then no one has to quarantine if there is a positive case in the classroom.

“In order to keep our schools open and our students in school for in-person learning, we have no choice other than to mandate masks. We hope that this decision is a short-term solution and once cases begin to decrease in our area we can once again allow students/staff to attend school without masks if that is their choice.

Under the mandate, “all staff and students regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask at all times during the day except for breakfast and lunch,” Lambert wrote.

“This decision will last until our board meeting on Sept. 20, at which time our board of education members will vote on a path forward depending on the number of cases we have.

“If you have any questions or concerns about the notice please contact me at the central office to discuss it further,” Lambert wrote.

The Randolph, Upshur and Barbour county school systems are all currently operating under a mask mandate.

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