Education, Latest News, Preston County

Masks no longer mandated in Preston County Schools

KINGWOOD — Preston County Schools changed t’s COVID-19 protocols Monday, effectively removing its mask mandate.

The Board of Education unanimously voted to follow the most recent West Virginia Department of Education guidelines, effective immediately, at its regular meeting.

“Basically, the recommendation is that we’re back to if a child is sick, keep that child home as we should,” Superintendent Stephen Wotring said.

That also means isolating for five days, starting on day 0 or the day of a positive test if asymptomatic, wearing a mask while back in school on days six-10, showing a negative COVID-19 test after day five or continuing to isolate for the full 10 days if they cannot wear a mask, Wotring said.

Wotring explained the new guidance in a video uploaded to the Preston County Schools WV YouTube page on Monday afternoon.

Contract tracing due to COVID exposure no longer needs done under the new guidance. Wotring said that process took a monumental amount of time.

“If we are made aware of a positive case in any school we will use our communications system via our Preston County Schools app to communicate with that school population that a positive case has occurred,” Wotring said in the YouTube announcement. “In this instance, parents can choose to have their children wear masks if they ought to do that. But otherwise masks will no longer be required in any of our school settings. Again, only on days six through 10 for someone who has tested positive.”

BOE member Bruce Huggins asked about how the policy would affect attendance requirements. Wotring said if a child is isolated because of COVID, the school will know and it won’t be held against them.

Board President Jack Keim said, “This will relieve a lot of pressure off of the administrators, off of the teachers, off of the people who were trying to enforce this because it was unenforceable.”