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Mon Schools: Masks optional (maybe) by mid-January

MORGANTOWN — Right now, it’s the biggest Maybe in the room for Monongalia County’s school district, Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said.

The maybe over whether to make masks optional again in school buildings, he said.

“Right now, they just want us to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said during last Tuesday’s school board meeting.

He was referring to discussions he had earlier that day with county health department officials.

The district closed out the week of Nov. 8-12 with 41 students and three staffers presenting positive diagnoses for COVID.

Another 105 students were in quarantine, due to contact tracing.

Those numbers are generally sticking to a downward trend, the superintendent said.

Maybe, if the numbers stay down through Christmas, New Year’s and into mid-January, to school district could switch over to a masks optional statute, the superintendent said.

Right now, he added, it’s just a matter of staying positive – about the negative.

“We’re asking folks to just be patient,” Campbell said. “Things are working for us. We’re keeping our kids in school.”

While getting them vaccinated, Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said.

Two weeks ago, the district administered first-time vaccines to 568 students between the ages of 5-11, she said. The district hosted clinics at the county’s 10 elementary schools.

Another 509 booster shots went into the arms of teachers and other staffers, the deputy superintendent also reported.

Those students receive their second doses Dec. 13, Talerico said.

A schedule is now being set to accommodate middle school students who have just turned 12, meaning they were either too young for previous clinics, she said.

“All of those students,” she said. “We’re opening it up to them.”

She agreed with the county school superintendent and the county health department on the assessment of that Maybe.

“Again, all our strategies are working,” she said. “We’ll continue to manage, as we have done since the beginning of the year.”

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