Barnstable, Bourne, and D-Y Schools to Make Masks Optional

BOURNE – Mask mandates in Barnstable, Bourne, and the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District will be optional for students and staff members following Massachusetts’ decision earlier this month to lift their mandate.

Public schools still have the option to enact their own masking policies amid the coronavirus pandemic, even after the state mandate ends on February 28.

The three local school districts opted on Wednesday to follow the lead of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and will end their masking requirements on that same day.

They became the latest districts on Cape Cod to make face coverings optional, following Falmouth’s call earlier in the week

The Barnstable School Committee voted unanimously to make masks optional except for certain situations, such as while on board school buses and within health offices.

If someone in the Barnstable system is exposed to COVID-19, officials said that DESE protocols would be followed and that face coverings for impacted individuals could be required.

Bourne officials recently asked community members to provide their input on the matter prior to their committee’s vote.

Superintendent Dr. Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou stated that they received over 1,300 survey submissions, with close to 80% of respondents being in favor of optional masking.

D-Y’s committee also gave unanimous support for ending the required face coverings at the end of the month.

A motion to delay their protocol’s end to March 14 due to the upcoming school vacation week was rescinded. Committee members noted that they could follow up on virus cases after vacation week.

Local health experts and notable officials were consulted on the mask decisions, according to leaders with these school districts.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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