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Mask decisions left up to school district leaders after bill passes

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School districts across the Commonwealth now have the option to require masks, or not.

It comes after the Kentucky Legislature voted to end a mask mandate put in place by the State Board of Education. Many in Central Kentucky are still mandating masks be worn at all times in school buildings.

Now that lawmakers have passed Senate Bill 1, the governor and the Kentucky Department of Education cannot issue mask mandates in schools. It’s up to the districts themselves. For now, you’ll still need to put on one of these if you’re going to step inside any of the Fayette County Public Schools. And according to school board chair Tyler Murphy, the topic of mask mandates will be on Monday’s board meeting agenda.

“If you don’t have universal masking in your schools, your kids won’t be in school,” said Governor Andy Beshear.

During his Friday briefing, Governor Beshear said he has a message for school district leaders while they decide whether to require masks.

“How many people have to die in a system where we can say, listen, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, every local health district, the State Department for Public Health, all say that the only way to do this safely is universal masking,” Beshear said.

According to our news partners at the Herald Leader, Infectious Disease Specialist at Baptist Health Lexington, Dr. Mark Dougherty told CNN teachers are one of the highest occupation patients they’re seeing in the hospital. He said kids are spreading the Delta Variant at schools, then spreading it to their teachers.

“It has gone up like a rocket. Our ICUs are filling up. We have COVID floors that are now basically quasi-ICUs,” said Dr. Dougherty.

FCPS isn’t the only district still requiring masks. Madison, Woodford, Franklin, Scott and Clark County Schools all took to Facebook saying the mask policies in place will still stand. The posts say requiring students, faculty and visitors to wear masks will keep them safe, and keep them in the classroom.

The FCPS board will meet at 5:30 Monday to discuss the mandate even further.

The Jessamine County school board is also meeting Monday at 6 P.M.

Mask mandates are on the agenda, as well.

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