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JCPS Board approves motion for superintendent to make masks optional

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to allow the superintendent to shift the school...
The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to allow the superintendent to shift the school district to masks optional with lower COVID case reports.(Jefferson County Public Health)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 7:34 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to allow the superintendent to shift the school district to masks optional with lower COVID case reports.

From now until June 30, JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio was given the authority to shift the district’s mask policy to optional if the county remains in a low to medium category.

The board voted 4-3 to update JCPS’ masking policy in a board meeting on Tuesday night.

Board member James Craig suggested the motion to match CDC and state health guidelines updated last week, categorizing prevention steps based on “low, medium, or high” numbers of cases and hospitalizations.

As of Tuesday, Jefferson County is in the “medium” category.

Pollio said based on the incidence category, masking will become optional for students and staff in the school district.

The current mask requirement will remain in place for students and staff on Wednesday, and additional information will be sent to JCPS families and staff on how and when new guidance will be implemented.

Board members Diane Porter, Chris Kolb and Corrie Shull voted against the measure, arguing vaccination numbers are still low within school-aged children compared to older age groups.

“A lot of people say, well, vulnerable students can still wear masks, and that’s absolutely true, and I’m sure vulnerable students will still wear them,” Kolb (District 2) said. “I understand everyone wants to return to a new normal, you know, but as I’ve said we’ve created a very new normal school year. There are just no downsides to maintaining a mask mandate.”

State guidance said mask usage in the “medium” category is recommended in indoor congregate settings, with targeted mask use in schools and other settings following exposures.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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