HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Cabell County Board of Education voted Monday to rescind the policy requiring facial coverings in schools.
The 3-2 vote made facial coverings on school properties optional effective immediately.
The decision comes as West Virginia’s coronavirus numbers continue to decline. The state Department of Health and Human Resources reported Monday 4,665 active coronavirus cases and 645 West Virginians hospitalized with the coronavirus, including 15 pediatric patients.
“That is reflective in the positivity rate in our schools,” Cabell County Schools Superintendent Ryan Saxe told MetroNews.
According to Saxe, the school system recorded 15 new coronavirus cases on Monday. He noted data from late January showed average daily case numbers in the low 40s.
“One of the things we have been able to prove throughout this pandemic is that our schools are very safe. In Cabell County, we’ve not had any major events where we’ve had to close a school for an extended period of time in the school year because of an outbreak,” he added.
“We’ve been able, I think, to get through the largest portion of the storm, and now that we’re on the downward trend, the board wanted to consider a measure to go ahead and lift that requirement so that we can try to have one more step back to a more normal school year for our students.”
Cabell County Schools joins the list of school systems that have repealed mask policies over the last month. Kanawha County Schools — the state’s largest district — announced last Tuesday facial coverings are optional.