Barnesville school board won't re-implement face mask policy
The Barnesville Board of Education voted not to re-implement a face mask policy in a special meeting on Aug. 23 while a special meeting of the Union Local School Board two weeks later saw the mandate re-imposed.
After a lengthy three-hour meeting that included a closed-door session attended by over 50 citizens on Sept. 6, the Union Local Board voted unanimously to require mask wearing on school grounds effective immediately. While the mandate does not extend to sporting events and activities, masks are recommended under all circumstances.
County health officials reported 15 cases in Bellaire schools, 20 in Shadyside and 21 in Barnesville at that time. Union Local has 100 students and staff in quarantine.
COVID has affected fall sports with Barnesville and Union Local squads sidelined on Aug. 27 due to an outbreak among Barnesville players and coaches.
COVID-19 numbers are climbing in Belmont County, just as they are everywhere. At the beginning of September, 7,435 people in Belmont County have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 716 of those active cases on that date.
The COVID death toll in Belmont County was 123 at the beginning of the month.