COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Colonial Heights schools announced that they will change their original plans and will now require indoor masking for staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
Colonial Heights Public Schools' Superintendent Dr. William Sroufe said the district initially planned to make mask-wearing optional. He said they decided to change the option to a requirement following guidance from Governor Northam and the Virginia Department of Education.
A statement from Sroufe regarding the decision read in part:
The most recent CDC guidelines call for universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Because the current law of the Commonwealth of Virginia requires school boards to comply with the CDC guidelines, the Colonial Heights School Board will comply with this law and require universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status.
Masks will also be required on all public transportation, including public school buses.
"Please remember that vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic," Sroufe said in a statement shared on Wednesday. "The team will continue to monitor the overall conditions in our community, including vaccination rates, transmission rates, and publicly available data on Colonial Heights published by the Virginia Department of Health."