Online Originals: Greene Co. School Board reinstates mask mandate ahead of next meeting, amid rising COVID cases

School Watch

SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) — The Greene County Board of Education made a decision Monday to temporarily reinstate a mask mandate for schools amid rising COVID cases.

Greene County Schools Superintendent Patrick Miller told 9OYS that during the Board of Education’s last meeting on December 13, a provision was put into place that Miller, in consultation with other board members, could reinstate the mask mandate at any time until the next board meeting on January 24th if conditions warranted it.

Miller said a rise in cases in combination with a number of school faculty sick or quarantined, the recent surge in COVID is affecting schools’ ability to stay open safely. He also said he spoke with other board members over the weekend and again Monday morning. He says the majority was for the reinstation based on current metrics.

Miller says when you look at recent COVID metrics, the move was in fact warranted.

“It was a combination of everything,” he says. “The numbers are actually alarmingly high. On December 3rd, we only had 36 active cases. As of [Tuesday] morning, it was over 200. So you’re talking in a month and one day time period that the cases have increased by more than sevenfold, that’s concerning.

“The goal of the board Is to keep schools open for students and staff and to keep them open as safely as we possibly can. Masking, regardless of your opinions of it, adds another layer to our covid mitigation strategies and we are going to need all the help we can get to weather this particular surge.” 

Patrick Miller, Greene County Schools Superintendent

Miller, along with the school board asks everyone to “please continue to be patient and work with us. This surge will subside at some point, and the board will, at that particular point in time, likely move back to mask optional.” Until then, they ask everyone to adhere to the new temporary mandate to help keep each other safe with this newer variant.

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