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Update: Masks optional in Kent County Public Schools
ROCK HALL — Effective Monday, Feb. 28, masks are optional for students and staff in Kent County Public Schools.

Kent County currently has a low community transmission rate of COVID, meeting an off-ramp set by the Maryland State Board of Education allowing a shift to optional face coverings in schools.

This means masks are now optional in school facilities and on school buses here.

Previous decisions by the Kent County Board of Education and the state would have seen the mask requirement lifted Tuesday, March 1. 

The Kent County Board of Education approved a resolution during a special meeting held Thursday, Feb. 24 to follow the state's move in rescinding its universal mask requirement for schools. The state board and a joint General Assembly committee had previously put in place a mask requirement for the current school year.

Joe Goetz, president of the Kent County Board of Education, said he and fellow board members understand parents' concerns about mandating face coverings for students here.

"We want you to know that we have been listening. However, our hands have been tied with the regulation that was approved by the legislature mandating face coverings in school facilities," Goetz said. "I'd like to thank the administration for being proactive in addressing this very important issue in our community."

Kent County Public Schools students who test positive for COVID must quarantine for 10 days. 

Those who are willing to wear a mask may return with a proper face covering after five days. They must continue to wear a mask for another five days.

Contact tracing will remain in effect.

Resolution of the Kent County Board of Education on Optional Masking for Students and Staff approved Thursday, Feb. 24

Whereas, the Maryland State Board of Education (the “State Board”) promulgated a regulation codified at 13A.01.07 et seq. concerning mandatory face coverings in school facilities for students and staff in Maryland public schools in effect from January 5, 2022, through July 1, 2022 (the “mask mandate”).  
Whereas, on February 22, 2022, the State Board voted 12-2 to rescind the mask mandate by March 1, 2022, pending approval from the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (“AELR”) Committee.
Whereas, the AELR Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual public hearing and vote on the mask mandate on Friday, February 25, 2022, at 2:30 p.m.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the State Board’s vote to rescind the Mask Mandate and the upcoming review of the mask mandate by the AELR Committee, the Board of Education of Kent County resolves that upon the approval of the AELR Committee to rescind the mask mandate, the Board of Education of Kent County will no longer require universal masking of students in staff in Kent County Public School (“KCPS”) facilities and that the wearing of masks by students and staff in KCPS facilities will become optional.

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