The Floyd County Schools District announced in a statement Sept. 10 that the district’s mask requirement will continue as approved on Aug. 23, requiring all students above the age of two inside public buildings and buses to wear masks, despite legislative action taken this week.

On Sept. 9, the Kentucky legislature approved a bill which removed the statewide mask mandates put in place by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education. However, in a statement issued Sept. 10, Floyd Schools Superintendent Anna Shepherd said the district will stay its current course.

“We want everyone to be clear about the masking expectations for students, staff and visitors for our school district. We are following our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity Service Plan and this plan outlines guidance to try to remain at school in person,” Shepherd said in the statement. “We are committed to having in-person classes for students and in order to keep that going, we will be requiring masks at this time.”

Shepherd said in the statement that the masking requirement, under the district’s plan, is tied to the positivity rate.

“Our plan states ‘When Floyd County is identified as Red or Orange, masks are mandated for staff and students above the age of two inside all buildings as well as school buses (pending further guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Floyd County Health Department.)’ ( https://t.ly/ipCH ). The plan also says that when the positivity rate is lower and the number of cases are less that we will still encourage mask wearing,” Shepherd said in the statement. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and at this time, masks and vaccines are two of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID. We are following CDC guidelines and have other mitigating factors in place, like temperature checks, grouping students when possible, providing masks and isolation rooms and trying to maintain social distancing. We are cleaning and disinfecting more and are trying to do what we can to keep all of our students and staff healthy.”

She also encouraged people to do their part to protect the district’s children.

“As long as the positivity rate is high and the risk is deemed higher, we will wear masks. As long as we can take simple steps to protect children, we will,” she said. “We want parents to know that your kids are our kids and we want to do what we can to keep them healthy. Please help us protect Floyd County’s children. Talk to your doctor about being vaccinated. Wear a mask when you are out in public. Try to maintain social distancing. Do your part to help us protect our kids.”

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