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Two districts to require mask use

South Point, Dawson-Bryant are latest to make COVID-19 changes

Two school districts announced they will begin requiring masks next week.

South Point Local Schools said that, starting Monday, masks will be required for students and staff at the district’s middle and high schools.

In a message to parents released Thursday, superintendent Mark Christian said this was being done due to COVID-19 cases in those two buildings “growing exponentially.”

“I am sad to announce that the students and staff at South Point High School and South Point Middle Schools will be required to wear masks inside the buildings,” he wrote.

Christian said 20 students have tested positive for the virus, while another 35 have been isolated.

“Although nearly all of these students who tested positive can trace their exposure to outside (non-school) sources, the quarantine guidelines for students without masks are brutal,” Christian said. “At our current trajectory of quarantining students, we will soon have too many students out of school to be productive.”

Christian said they hope to return to an optional policy, if cases decrease.

He said that both of the district’s elementary schools have had only two cases and that they will remain under an optional policy, with the exception of on school buses, where they will be required.

Dawson-Bryant Local Schools announced on Friday that they will be closed on Monday and Tuesday to clean and sanitize buildings.

“Staff will report to work,” a post on the district’s Facebook page read. “School will reopen on Wednesday, September 1st. All students and staff will be required to wear a mask.”

The district said students attending Collins Career Technical Center will still attend on Monday and Tuesday.

The bus will be at the high school for students who need transportation, while the high school’s football team will still play on Saturday at Eastern Pike.

Ironton, Chesapeake and the Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School have required masks for students, while all other Lawrence County schools remain optional.

Symmes Valley schools announced they would be closed on Friday, although no reason was specified. A call to the superintendent’s office was not returned by press time.