8/17/2021 8:56:00 PM Lincoln County Schools Will Require Masks For 30 Days
RELATED INFO: Gov. Roy Cooper and the NC Coronavirus Task Force will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM to update info on the virus. You can watch it live at https://www.ncdps.gov/news-conference.
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
Lincoln County Health Director Davin Madden issued a request Tuesday (Aug. 17th) that all schools in Lincoln County institute a temporary mask mandate because of the quickly growing number of COVID infections in the county. Lincoln County Schools responded by posting a bulletin on the schools' website saying they'll require masks for 30 days.
Interestingly, neither the Health Department nor the Lincoln County Schools sent any kind of news release about the request or decision to the Lincoln Herald. We had to learn about it from social media comments.
The bulletin posted on the Lincoln County Schools website reads:
The Lincoln County Health Director, Mr. Davin Madden, has requested all school institutions in Lincoln County (LCS, Lincoln Charter, Denver Christian, Long Shoals Wesleyan, and West Lake Prep) to institute a temporary mask mandate based on current metrics in Lincoln County. He has determined our county to be at HIGH risk for community transmission.
Beginning August 18, 2021, Lincoln County Schools will temporarily enforce a mask mandate for a minimum of 30 days based upon the following:
1) The formal recommendation from our Lincoln County Health Director, Mr. Davin Madden.
The LCS Board of Education plan and directive approved, at the August 10, 2021 meeting, of a layered approach. This plan was made in consultation with the Health Department as a way to implement further source control measures.
Other layered strategies that have been recommended by the Lincoln County Schools Leadership, in congruence with the Lincoln County Health Department leadership, required during this temporary period of time are as follows: ● This temporary mask mandate does not apply to outdoor activities. ● This temporary mask mandate is in effect for everyone inside our facilities regardless of their vaccination status or COVID recovery exposure status. ● This temporary mask mandate will result in all visitors to the school being required to follow the temporary mask mandate regardless of their reason for entering the building. ● Indoor athletics will be impacted during this time frame to require spectators to wear masks and to social distance in the stands. Student athletes sitting on the bench during competition will be required to wear their mask, but students on the court engaged in vigorous activity will be allowed to compete without their mask being worn. This applies to practice times as well. Social distancing will be expected at practices to the extent possible. ● Per the CDC guidance, masks are mandatory for all staff and students while traveling on a yellow or white bus for school purposes. ● Water fountain usage will be limited as well. It will be similar to our 2020-2021 school year. ● Frequent mask breaks will be given to students and staff during the course of the class period and day. ● Students and staff seeking an exception to this requirement will have to provide medical documentation. ● The school system and health department officials will monitor data on a daily and weekly basis as we begin the school year and the Lincoln County School data will be posted each week as a ‘look back’ on the LCS website https://sites.google.com/lincoln.k12.nc.us/covid-information/home ● For additional information please visit the NC Strong Schools Toolkit at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/164/open
Lincoln County Schools will continue to provide the community with updates as information becomes available. [Lincoln Herald note: and perhaps next time we can get a news release!]Gaston County Schools changed to 'masks required' following a Monday vote by the school board (see separate article). Catawba County will start school Monday 'masks optional.' The Catawba County School Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening. The Cleveland County school board voted 7-2 Wednesday (Aug. 18th) to change from 'masks optional' to 'masks required.'
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