Gov. Jim Justice believes lifting the statewide mask mandate for schools is the best way to move forward

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Wheeling, WV (WTRF)- Governor Jim Justice is leaving it up to the counties to decides how they want they want to go back to school this year. He’s decided against a statewide mask mandate for schools, saying parents and local school officials know what’s best for their kids.

Governor Jim Justice is saying he’ll be flexible with counties. If they want to go virtual or enforce a mask mandate, Governor Jim Justice says he’ll support that. But if things get worse, he adds they’ll adjust accordingly.

Currently, without the mask mandate statewide, that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be one at the school your kids go to. Just that it’s on a county-by-county basis. But a child could still wear a mask if their parent would prefer that.

Along with wearing masks, there’s also been changes to virtual learning. The State Department of Education is offering a virtual school option for 6th grade and up, but not anymore for elementary students. That also, is up to the individual counties.  

And above all else, The Governor says we have to stick together if we want to move forward. 

“From the standpoint of being concerned, I’m concerned too. We’re all concerned, but at the same time, we think, and with the advice from all the medical experts, we think we’re absolutely safe right now. With the long and short of it is parent-by-parent has to make their decisions and local-by-local, we’ve got to make our decisions on the local level because we’re not all the same all across this great state.”

Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia

The Governor says he’s very confident in the state-wide mandate being lifted, but fears if we jump out prematurely and mandate the masks, it would divide us.

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