At the February 22nd meeting, the Mercer County Board of Education voted to move its mask guidance from mandatory to optional. This means that mask usage in buildings and on school buses will be optional for both students and staff.
This decision is being made as Mercer County and Mercer County Schools positive case numbers are going down after the increase during the winter holidays. Masks may also be required at individual school sites if Covid-19 transmission rates warrant a mask requirement.
Mercer County Schools will still have masks available to anyone wanting one. We will also continue communicating with the Mercer County Health Department about special cases and any concerning trends in classrooms or schools. The superintendent may institute practices if determined necessary in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ultimate goal is to protect our students and prioritize learning. Given the quick spread of the Omicron variant and its rapid clinical course, it has made contact tracing in schools impractical when combined with the newly reduced timelines for quarantine and isolation set by the CDC. With that being said, Mercer County Schools will not perform contact tracing on behalf of the Mercer County Health Department.
All Mercer County schools are now reporting positive cases to a new WV DHHR tracking survey, which appears on Fridays at https://wvde.us/covid19/school-covid-dashboard/