Chesterfield, Va. (Newsradiowrva.com) -- In a narrow, 3-2, vote, the Chesterfield County School Board voted to retain its school mask rules for the time being. The Board says it is keeping the mask rules in place until they get further guidance from the State Schools Superintendent as to how Executive Order #2 will be implemented.
Executive Order #2 gets rid of the public health order that mandated masks in schools, although some have also maintained that state law also requires them as well. The executive order also creates an opt-out for parents for the mask rules of any district. The order is supposed to take effect Monday, but is also subject to a lawsuit by a group of Chesapeake parents.
Richmond and Henrico have both chosen to keep universal masking rules for until further notice to deal with the Omicron surge of Covid cases. Hanover is scheduled to make its decision on masks on Monday.
The Board made it clear that once they get the guidance, then they will call a meeting to vote on it. The 'yes' votes came from Midlothian District member Kathryn Haines, Bermuda District member and chair Ann Coker and Dale District member Debbie Bailey, who said it's important to get the guidance because many are unsure about how to implement it. She says it's important that it's done right. The 'no' votes came from Matoaca District member Ryan Harter and Clover Hill District member Dot Heffron, who said that any sort of guidance on masks should come from the board and not the State Superintendent of Public Instruction