YORK COUNTY — The York County School Division School Board voted unanimously during a special meeting on Feb. 14 to make masks optional for students in York Count School Division buildings effective Tuesday, Feb. 22.
According to a YCSD announcement sent to families after the meeting, “…the board sought to ensure they provided time for families and staff, especially those who are more vulnerable to the virus, to prepare for this shift.”
While masks will be optional on school property, students will still be required to wear masks on school buses in accordance with federal orders. Also, students enrolled in regional programs will have to adhere to the rules of those campuses.
To go along with the mask policy, the board also voted to shift the responsibility of contact tracing of positive COVID-19 cases found in YCSD students and staff to the Peninsula Health District.
The announcement also said that students and staff are to report a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and follow isolation guidelines. Additionally, all students and staff should continue daily health screenings and stay home when sick to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses.
YCSD employees will be required to continue wearing masks in schools and offices as it pertains to the order from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Visitors and volunteers will also be required to continue wearing masks.
This news comes as Virginia’s school-aged population is pacing below ideal for vaccination rates. York County reports 27.3 percent of 5-11-year-olds and 57.2 percent of 12-17-year-olds are considered fully vaccinated.*
WYDaily will continue to keep you up-to-date on this developing story as more information becomes available.