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Masks will now be required in Charlotte County schools

Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) will open for in-person instruction Monday, Aug. 9 with a requirement that masks are required for all students, staff, and visitors inside the schools.

Robbie Mason

Earlier this summer, it was announced that masking policies for students and staff would be a local decision and CCPS had made mask wearing optional for staff and students.

During a Thursday, Aug. 5 press conference by Governor Northam he indicated that school divisions will be expected to adhere to Senate Bill 1303 that was passed in March which states that public schools must provide in-person instruction in a manner that adheres to CDC guidance.

Following the press conference, the CDC updated its guidance on Tuesday to call for universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to k-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently released new guidance for pre-K through 12 schools for the upcoming school year.

Sighting elementary schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers and staff wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until vaccination is available for children under 12 years old and there has been sufficient time to allow for children younger than 12 years old to be fully vaccinated.

In addition to masks wearing CCPS announced the following guidelines:

–      Distancing in classrooms and other areas will be maximized to the greatest extent possible. Distancing in some classrooms, cafeterias, school buses, and other areas will be less than three feet due to capacity.

–      Disinfecting will take place in classrooms daily and more frequently for highly occupied areas such as cafeterias and restrooms.

–      Students and staff with COVID symptoms will be sent home immediately. Again, please do not send your child to school with a fever or other COVID symptoms.

–      Parents will be notified if their children have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID in their school.

–      Remote instruction for CCPS is being provided only through Virtual Virginia this school year. All students are required to attend school in person five days per week unless the Virtual Virginia option was chosen.