Ohio County health department official says no to a student mask mandate


WHEELING, W.Va.- (WTRF) School is just weeks away and the big question is should students wear their masks when they return to the classroom?

Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble says he believes students shouldn’t return to school wearing masks.

Since children under 12 still aren’t getting vaccinated at this time, Gamble is encouraging teachers, administration and other staff members at the schools to get their vaccinations if they haven’t already.

Gamble says, “So that if the people around the children, who can’t get vaccinated 11 and under, are protected and therefore they (students under 12) are not causing the uptick in cases. Although we saw cases in schools this past year, that’s not where most of the cases originated from. They were adults. They were individuals, who were associated with family or took trips.”

Gamble says the number of cases in schools, among those students under 12, is going to be extremely low.

According to Gamble, the decision to wear masks in the classroom is better served if it is mandated at a statewide level versus at a county level.

Gamble also says if you’re not vaccinated you should be wearing your mask when you go places and if you’re sick a mask should be worn inside your home.

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