Vernon schools reverse mask mandate

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

By Pamela Sleezer

Vernon Parish school officials announced Wednesday morning they are reversing their mask mandate in all parish schools effective immediately as of Oct. 27.

School Board Superintendent James Williams announced the change in a memo to parish stakeholders, saying the district has followed all mandates, protocols and procedures in an effort to keep students safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those efforts are reflected in our low numbers we report each week. In every category, we continue to show a less than 1 percent affected,” Williams said.

The decision came directly on the heels of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ news conference on Tuesday where he largely ended the statewide mask mandate put in place three months ago. In regards to school mandates, Edwards allowed school districts that maintain quarantine protocols for students considered close contacts of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 to withdraw their mask mandates. Schools that do not require exposed students to be sent home will continue to require masks.

On Wednesday, Williams said Vernon Parish schools will continue to follow all other protocols and be resilient in their efforts to maintain safety across all campuses, and he said that any students who feel more comfortable wearing a face mask may continue to do so.

“We will continue to monitor the number and trends to remain safe so our children can continue to participate in a face to face educational setting,” Williams said.