On the heels of Governor Andy Beshear’s recommendations for Covid-19 protection in schools Thursday which asked for mask wearing in most school settings, Lawrence Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher and the BOE have adopted some of them — but not all.
Classes are set to begin August 11, in Lawrence County and lots of vacancies still exist on the staffs of all county schools because of the current teacher shortage.
But recent Covid-19 increases have heightened the interest in precautions to be used by the local system.
Here is what Beshear recommended Thursday for all Ky. schools:
- School districts should require all unvaccinated students and unvaccinated adults to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings;
- School districts should require all students under 12 years of age to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings; and
- School districts wishing to optimize safety and minimize risk of educational and athletic disruption should require all students and all adults to wear a mask while in classrooms and other indoor school settings.
But the local mandate is different. Only on school busses will Lawrence County students and personnel be REQUIRED to wear a protective mask.
Here’s what Fletcher told The Lazer Saturday:
“…At this time, we are recommending mask wearing, but it is not a mandate. Also, taking the vaccine is not a mandate, but we encourage everyone to take the vaccine, if eligible. Personally, I believe that both are excellent methods for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 (and vaccinations can lower the severity of having COVID-19), but I also believe that both decisions should be the choice of the individual and/or the parent.
There is one exception. Federal guidance MANDATES mask wearing on school buses. Currently, we do not have a choice on that matter.
Keep in mind, the quarantine process is still in effect, as required by the Kentucky Department for Public Health. On the other hand, if you wear a mask or if you are vaccinated, you will not be quarantined by the health department. Of course, if you are sick and have COVID-19, you will be isolated by the health department.
We look forward to the start of the new year, and we appreciate the support of our community!”
Robbie L. Fletcher, EdD
Superintendent, Lawrence County Schools