Eastern KY school district votes requiring students and teachers to wear masks

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Clay County schools have changed their decision about masks after only three days in session, before the Governor made the decision to mandate masks in schools across the state.

The school system started a week earlier than usual this year to try and beat the spread of sickness. In the short amount of time the schools have been open, there have been 13 positive cases in different schools.

“For example we have one school that has two 4th grade classes,” said Clay County School Board Chairman Mark Hoskins. “We have a positive in each classroom.”

Across the schools, almost 200 students and staff had to be quarantined after the positive cases were discovered.

“These cases were probably not exposures within the school—they were exposures as the children came to school, for a day or two and then developed illness,” said Christy Green of the Cumberland Valley District Health Department.

On Monday, the school board held a meeting and voted to require masks for all students and staff.

“Most people don’t want to to wear the masks in our area. But most left the meeting know it was our only option to keep our children in school,” said Hoskins. “We want to do everything possible to keep them from going virtual school. We need children in school also for their mental health to be in school. To socialize, to interact, for extracurricular activities.”

None of the children who tested positive had serious complications. Health leaders say most just experienced cold and flu symptoms.

Cumberland Valley health leaders say the positive case increase is in children who are unable to get the vaccine.

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