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Buena Vista City Public Schools tables decision on updating mask guidelines

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:15 PM EDT
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BUENA VISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - Gov. Ralph Northam held a news conference Thursday to address coronavirus in Virginia.

In that conference, he sent a message to school systems.

“The CDC guidance is that people in schools need to be wearing masks ... and I expect school divisions to follow it. If they choose not to follow it, they should have a frank discussion with their legal counsel,” said Northam.

Hours later, Buena Vista City Public Schools held a meeting to address the issue, with some parents speaking out.

“The masking policy is an overreach and the decision to mask children should rest with the parents and guardians,” said one parent.

“I feel like it would be more harm than good considering the low risk involved for school-age children. It should be left up to parents,” said another.

Ultimately, the school board tabled a decision on whether it will update its mask proposal to fall in line with CDC guidance.

As it is now, the school system’s proposal would require masks for some, but not all.

School leaders say they want to talk things over before making a decision.

“We need to talk to our legal counsel some more in-depth, and I think we also need to talk to our insurance carrier and so forth and look at all the issues there to make sure that we make the best decision for our students and our staff and our community,” said Tony Francis, superintendent.

A law passed by the General Assembly this year says school systems must follow CDC guidance, which was changed to universal masking due to the Delta variant.

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