QPS to go mask optional…for the most part

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 The Quincy School Board Wednesday voted unanimously to make masks optional, for the most part, for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

On the day after QPS Superintendent Roy Webb released the district’s COVID-19 precaution plan, the School Board passed it 7-0 following more than 90 minutes of public comment before a packed house at the Quincy High School cafeteria. The district moved the meeting there in anticipation of the large crowd.

The public comment and the majority of the crowd supported dropping all restrictions, although a couple of speakers did support strong guidelines. There were many comments about personal freedom and about how the School Board works for the people and should not be beholden to the State of Illinois.

QPS Superintendent Roy Webb outlines the district’s COVID guidelines for the upcoming school year.

So while the plan won’t require masks in schools, it will require them on buses.

The plan is for the start of the 2021-22 school year and does not require masks in schools, but Webb said adjustments to the plan may be implemented should COVID cases rise. coronavirus cases rise locally. He also said three-feet social distancing will be followed throughout district properties. School events such as sporting events and concerts will be back at full capacity and no masks will be required, as long as COVID remains in check.

Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms will have to quarantine and Webb said if you feel sick, stay home.

Webb declined to elaborate further following the meeting, deferring to “the board.” QPS Legal Counsel David Penn provided the synopsis of the guidelines.

“(The Quincy School Board) put a plan or procedure in place to go forward so there was no formal board policy,” Penn said. “What they did do is approve a return to school plan. That is the procedure that they’re going to enact and so the board voted on that to basically approve that recommendation from the superintendent. The guidelines are that masks are generally going to be…there’s no mask mandate in general. The only mask mandates, specifically, is on buses and it’s regardless of vaccination status. Otherwise, it’s then highly recommended for either vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals. So in those settings, generally in school, in classrooms It’s highly recommended, but it is not a mask mandate. And that’s consistent with the guidance from the CDC and the IDPH.”

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