Local schools in Virginia take different stances on mask requirements


VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Frederick County Public Schools and Winchester Public Schools are just miles apart in the Northern Shenandoah Valley but will both have different mask policies for the upcoming school year.

As cases of the Delta variant continue to rise across the country, schools are now deciding whether they want to make masks mandatory or not. The school board for Frederick County Public Schools voted no to make masks mandatory for the upcoming school year. Instead, they’ll be optional.

“The school board was presented with a recommendation to require all students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings inside all of our facilities and defeated that motion on a 3-4 vote,” said Steve Edwards Director of Policy and Communications for FCPS.

Winchester Public Schools took a much different stance. Its school board voted yes to require masks for students this fall.

All of this coming after Governor Northam recently announced that masks must be worn in schools, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, referencing bipartisan legislation that was passed in the General Assembly which says schools should follow CDC guidelines maximally as practical.

“Local school divisions are taking the lead including mask-wearing and mitigation measures in their schools we expect them to follow the law…if they choose not to follow it they should have a frank discussion with their legal counsel,” said Northam.

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