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FCPS to switch to 'mask optional' starting Tuesday March 15th

LigginsMASK
Karyn Czar
/
FCPS Superintendent Demetrus Liggins at a recent school board meeting

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, masks will be optional in Fayette County Public schools. Karyn Czar reports.

Six-year-old twins Marlow and August erupted in cheers when their mother Ashley Oldham told them they could show their smiles Tuesday at school. The two kindergarteners at Veterans Park Elementary with the support of their parents are choosing not to mask up. Marlow said she was most excited “to read without having a mask and breathing.” Her brother chimed in that he was excited about “not getting really hot.”

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins said he had been consulting with the Fayette County Health Department daily and was given the go-ahead to safely make the shift to mask optional.

“I’m glad those that are celebrating. I join them in saying that hopefully this pandemic is getting behind us.”

Liggins anticipates most students and faculty will go without a mask but wants to ensure that those who wish to take the extra precaution feel supported.

“We wanted to make absolutely sure that when we did go this route that we were prepared to make sure that we respected each other choices and we respected each other’s personal options as far as whether they decide to continue to wear a mask or not. And we are a community that embraces diversity. Equity and inclusion are really important to us and this is really no different.”

When asked if he would be able to pivot back to required masking if another surge erupts, Dr. Liggins said health officials have led him to believe that isn’t something that would happen this school year and that the district would “cross that bridge when we come to it.”