Masks are still recommended, but the Slaton Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Thursday evening (March 11) to end the requirement to wear masks inside the schools.
Superintendent Jim Andrus said Gov. Greg Abbott’s removal of the mask mandate, which went fully into effect last Wednesday (March 10) let businesses decide mask rules and capacity.
That said, school boards had to formally remove the mandate in a vote. Andrus added by statute, if the Board did nothing, the mandate would remain in effect.
Andrus said if the mandate were approved, they would encourage all to still wear masks, but not require them.
They will keep other COVID safety tasks in place such as screenings, cleaning, social distancing and quarantining positive cases.
He said the science was leading to his encouraging the Board to pass a resolution for optional wearing.
Andrus said there have been increased studies as of late showing wearing masks full time was leading to an increase in carbon dioxide levels.
Another concern of his was the rapid increase in strep cases at SISD, where in the past some students who had never had a case were having it five to six times so far in the year.
COVID cases have also been few, especially as of late.
Trustees also approved the cancellation of the School Board election and canceling possibly the May 1 general election.
Gabriel Johnson, Jaime Diaz and Greg Schilling were up for election, but did not draw an opponent.
For more information, including items from the rest of the meeting, please read the Thursday edition of the Slatonite.