Sunday, May 22, 2022

Gloucester County Public Schools Makes Masks Optional for Students

Gloucester County Public Schools will no longer require students to wear masks in the school building beginning Jan. 24. (Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

GLOUCESTER — Gloucester County Public Schools (GCPS) will no longer require students to wear masks beginning Monday, Jan. 24.

At a special meeting on Sunday, Jan. 23, the GCPS School Board updated its masking, isolation and quarantine protocols for students, which includes that parents may elect for their children to not wear masks while in school.

The school board is aligning its COVID-19 mitigation plan with Executive Order Number Two issued by Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this month.

However, GCPS said that the mask exemption will not apply if a student becomes sick and needs to visit the nurse’s office, as the school nurse may require the student to wear a mask after an assessment.

Masks are also required for all students while on school buses.

GCPS is still requiring mask-wearing for all employees while indoors during work hours.

Mask-wearing will also continue to be required for all visitors and volunteers, as well as spectators, including students, who attend indoor events and extracurricular activities in GCPS facilities.

The updated protocol also states that students diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19 are required to inform the school. Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate for five days.

Quarantine is not required for employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 if they are fully vaccinated and boosted, and are expected to report to work if they are not experiencing symptoms.

Like Gloucester, Poquoson, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach schools are making masks optional for students. 

School boards in PortsmouthHamptonNorfolk, York County and Williamsburg-James City County (WJCC) will maintain the current mask mandate. 

For more information on GCPS’ updated COVID-19 protocols, visit here.

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