NCSS Lifts Mask Mandate

NCSS Lifts Mask Mandate, Masks to Be Strongly Encouraged
Posted on 11/06/2021
Face Mask Update November 6, 2021Newton County School System (NCSS) Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey announced Saturday, November 6, that the district will lift the mask mandate implemented on August 9. Although masks will not be required, they will be strongly encouraged for both students and staff.

“It was stated, at the time the mandate was instituted, that it would be temporary and correlate directly to our community conditions,” said Fuhrey. “After continuous review of the COVID-19 data and consulting with our local medical professionals and advising the school board on their feedback, beginning Monday, November 8th, masks will be strongly recommended for all students and staff.”

“While we are loosening our mask requirement, it continues to be important that students and staff wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, and watch their distance as an integral part of our layered prevention strategy,” said Fuhrey.

The superintendent explained that the school system is “microcosm of that which takes place in our county.” If the transmission of COVID-19 increases in the community, the school transmission rate will increase as well. And if the county numbers decrease, the schools’ numbers will, too.

According to the most recent NCSS Weekly COVID-19 update, the district reported 12 new COVID-19 student cases and four new staff cases. Overall, 36 students and 2 staff members are under precautionary quarantines. That is in stark contrast to the school system’s numbers at the end of August, when 154 new student cases and 24 staff cases were reported and approximately 500 students and staff members were quarantined.

“Since August 9th our students and employees have been practicing the three W’s –washing their hands, wearing their masks, and watching their distance—and I am confident their actions have played a huge role in the decrease in COVID-19 cases in both our school system and the Newton County community at large,” said Fuhrey, who previously shared with the school board members during their October monthly meeting that an announcement may be forthcoming regarding the mask mandate due to a decline in COVID-19 cases.

Although the school system has seen a definite decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, Fuhrey warned that the mask mandate could come back if numbers shoot back up.

“We are approaching the holiday season and people will congregate amongst family and friends who they might not ordinarily see,” she explained. “The chances of becoming exposed to COVID-19 will be high. So please understand, if our community’s COVID-19 cases increase again, we will be forced to reinstitute the mask mandate.”

For more information, view Superintendent Fuhrey’s video update at the link below:

Superintendent’s Video Update