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Ironton schools to require masks for students

When Ironton students return to in-person learning today, school officials say masks will be required due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district made the announcement Tuesday evening, a reversal of the previous position, where masks would be optional.

“The Ironton Board of Education has approved an update to our masking protocols effective immediately,” a message from city schools read. “The new policy will use the CDC ‘Levels of Community Transmission’ to determine when facial coverings are REQUIRED and when STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. During designated HIGH (Red) levels of community transmission, all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask while indoors. When the level of community transmission drops to the SUBSTANTIAL (Orange), MODERATE (Yellow) or LOW (Blue) designations, facial coverings will be STRONGLY RECOMMENDED while indoors for all students, staff and visitors. The CDC Levels of Community Transmission can be monitored athttps://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view. Currently, Lawrence Co. is in a HIGH (Red) state of community transmission meaning masks will be required for the start of school beginning Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Information regarding COVID-19 protocols is available at www.tigertown.com.”

Gov. Mike DeWine addressed the state on Tuesday regarding the pandemic. DeWine urged vaccinations and mask use for school children, but stopped short of issuing a mandate for the state. Vaccinations are available for those 12 and older in Ohio.

Last week, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear required that students in the Bluegrass State wear masks when returning to classes.

As of Tuesday, all other districts in the county were keeping masks optional for students, except when on buses, where they are required.