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Masks to be worn starting with new school year for FCPS

All Franklin City Public Schools students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear appropriate masks and/or face shields while inside school buildings in order that the schools may open for in-classroom learning this year.

An Aug. 11 FCPS news release continued by stating that coverings must also be worn on school buses because of a federal mandate, but such protections are not required when eating and drinking or when in appropriately distanced outdoor settings.

Per the recommendation of FCPS administration, this decision was made by the FCPS school board during its Aug. 5 work session.

Amy Phillips, board chair, said the school system will follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia High School League and will review and update this requirement as the COVID situation changes.

The CDC advises that wearing the mask/shield and getting the vaccine are especially effective in protecting oneself and other people from becoming infected and sick. 

The release stated that as reported in the news, the Delta variant of COVID is highly contagious, but current COVID vaccines reduce the severity of illness for most people.

News from the VDH states that K-12 students within 3-6 feet of someone at school who tests positive for COVID are not considered a close contact as long as both students are wearing a mask and the school has other prevention strategies in place. That means fewer students will need to quarantine, allowing them to stay in school for face-to-face learning with their teacher and classmates.

When and where feasible, the schools will follow social distancing guidelines.

Both classroom and open areas will be regularly cleaned by custodians.

If any family member of a student is ill, the student is asked to stay home. Parents are urged to consult the Department of Education COVID-19 Parent Guide, found at www.fcpsva.org.

The release concluded by noting that FCPS looks forward to providing a safe and effective learning school year in the classrooms and is grateful to everyone who works toward that goal.