Governor Glenn Youngkins mask removal mandate stirs up the state


Infographic created by Kenshin Dean.

Logan Stanton, Staff Writer

Governor Glenn Youngkin took office on Jan. 15 in Richmond and made bold moves to unmask Virginia on his first day.
Soon after, he removed the public health order stating that students are required to wear masks in school. This caused some uproar with Governor Northam’s office, declaring that schools which remove the mask mandate would violate a state law.This was an interesting move by Youngkin knowing that COVID-19 rates were at an all-time high with a 36 percent positivity rate and a vaccination rate of less than 50 percent for school-aged kids. Raising another worry about whether to wear a mask or not has caused more disagreements between parents, students and staff.
The CDC still recommends that all schools K-12 should be required to wear masks, but while the down sides of the change are still very prevalent, there are also some positives.
“I’m very excited to have the masks removed and taking a step closer to getting things back to normal,” said sophomore Kenden Turner.
It will also allow for parents and students to make their own decisions on wearing a mask.
“From what I have observed, our students have been respectful of one another, understanding that parents are now allowed to opt their students out of mask wearing,” said Principal Dr. Claire LeBlanc.
There was a rough transition period, but it quickly smoothed over.
As of Feb. 28, masks will not be needed by students conducting extracurricular activities and will be optional for visitors on VBCPS property.
Masks should still be worn by visitors since there is no way to contact trace, but I do feel it is perfectly fine to remove the masks in after-school activities since it solely involves students.
Ocean Lakes distributed approximately 350 government-issued masks to all students and staff who requested them online. Questions? Direct them to Principal Dr. Claire LeBlanc or Office Administrator Kelly McMullen.