Major City School District Reinstates Mask Mandates Just In Time For School To Start

Jefferson county schools recently reinstated mask mandates as cases soar in the county just two weeks before school begins.

By Erika Hanson | Published

See A School Call Police To Remove A 4-Year-Old For Not Wearing Mask

Jefferson county schools

While the majority of public school districts across the nation ended the last school year without mask mandates, the celebrated ending to these longheld measures to stop the spread of the COVID virus apparently didn’t last long. As another new subvariant spreads across the nation at lightning-fast speeds, districts everywhere are reimposing universal mask mandates. Jefferson County schools are the latest to announce the return to face covering, despite many’s dismay. 

Jefferson County schools require everyone entering public school buildings to once again mask up, effective this past Monday, July 25th. The decision was made following district policy and state health department recommendations, given the largest county in the state of Kentucky is now officially in what the state calls the red zone for infection rates. While the measure is following protocol and was done because the county is seeing extremely high transmission rates of the virus, the decision to require masks right before the school year begins was met with extreme protestation by many.

According to reports from The Center Square, the district made parents and staff aware of the decision, along with putting the letter available for all to view on the Jefferson county schools’ website. No one is immune from this policy, including students and staff who are vaccinated. It is unclear how long the mandate will remain in effect.  According to guidelines, it appears they will keep requiring masks as long as the country remains in the red zone. Officials added that they would update families at the end of each week on the masking status.

According to information on the Jefferson county schools district site, schools remain mask optional so long as the county is in low or medium levels of transmission for COVID-19. School for the district is set to begin in less than two weeks. Many fear the mandate will last long into the beginning of the school year, as the majority of counties in Kentucky are now labeled in the high transmission zone. In fact, there remain only a few areas of the state which are still seeing low transmission rates. 

Mask opposers were quick to criticize Jefferson county schools for reimposing the mask mandate this far into the pandemic. The announcement even caught the attention of Republican state Rep. Savannah Maddox, who is running for governor of Kentucky next year. In responding to the district’s reinstatement of mask mandates, Maddox took to social media to decry the decision, stating that cloth masks don’t stop the spread of the virus, and alleging that they disrupt learning. 

This Tweet targeting Jefferson county schools came soon after the state’s current Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, drew attention to the sharp rise in cases all across the state during a weekly briefing. He also took this opportunity to urge parents to get their children vaccinated. Nearly two-thirds of the state population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than half of the state is fully vaccinated.

Jefferson county schools

While the decision is upsetting many Kentuckian parents, the Jefferson county schools have reminded families that they have an option to opt out of mandatory masking. Additionally, parents can rest assured that no matter how high transmission rates may become, the district has vowed to keep schools open at all costs. While kids may return to school on August 10th wearing masks once again whether they like it or not, the decision, for now, is out of their hands.