Fayetteville Public Schools to continue mask requirement through school year

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Fayetteville Public Schools will continue its COVID-19 safety protocols, including requiring masks for students, staff, and anyone entering a school building for school activities, officials announced on Tuesday.

The announcement came as Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced he would lift the statewide mask mandate this week.

Hutchinson said he would leave the decisions on whether to continue to require masks at schools this year up to the individual districts across the state.

Superintendent John Colbert announced in an email to parents on Tuesday that the Fayetteville district would stay the course on masks.

From the email:

Dear Fayetteville Public School Families,

Now that we have returned from Spring Break and have only ten weeks left in the school year, I want to let you know that we will be continuing our COVID-19 safety protocols outlined in school board policy 1.19 through the end of this school year. The protocols include:

  • requiring a face mask for all students, staff members, and anyone who enters any of our buildings or attends any school activities
  • frequent hand washing, and
  • social distancing whenever possible.

These protocols will remain in place until further review by the Fayetteville Board of Education at its next regular meeting on April 22. These protocols have served us very well and have enabled us to have an uninterrupted school year. They also helped us get through the surge in positive cases and quarantines that we saw in January and February. Those numbers came down dramatically, but that situation could change.

I also encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated and help create a safer environment for all. Thank you for your continued dedication to our district, to our students, and to each other!

Cases in the Fayetteville district have remained low through most of the year. According to the district’s latest COVID-19 dashboard, there are currently only four active COVID-19 student cases out of the more than 10,000 students in the district, and no cases among faculty or staff.

A Fayetteville law requiring face coverings in public places of accommodation will also remain in effect.