Good afternoon MGSD parents,
At some point this afternoon or evening the NC Covid County Alert System will be updated with the most recent Covid data from across the state. We have been in discussions with the Iredell County Health Department and all data indicates that Iredell County, which had previously been categorized as a “Yellow” county with significant community spread, will be designated at a minimum as an “Orange” county with substantial community spread.
Over the last 2 weeks, Iredell County has seen significant increases in our percent of covid positive tests, our number of new covid cases, and our number of hospitalizations due to Covid. As a result of these rapidly increasing numbers, and from discussions with our local health department, MGSD will follow our plan to require all students, staff, and visitors to wear a face covering while inside our facilities or on our school buses. This requirement will go into effect tomorrow morning - Friday, August 6, 2021 - at the beginning of the school day.
Individuals who do not have an approved exemption on file with the school, will not be permitted to enter school district facilities without a proper face covering.
Medical waivers, signed by a physician, may still be submitted to your school’s principal for review and approval. Religious waivers for masking will not be approved at this point given our district’s responsibility to address the growing threat to public health that the coronavirus presents.
I understand that this decision will NOT make everyone happy, but it is the decision that needs to be made at this point to keep our kids in school. In the first four days of school we have quarantined over 80 students including an entire classroom. If required masking were in place during the first four days, our quarantine number would have been less than 10 students total. This data point itself shows us that we can keep more kids in school when we all wear masks. To view our MGSD Covid-19 Dashboard, please visit: https://www.mgsd.k12.nc.us/covid-19-dashboard.
MGSD will continue to require masks for everyone in our district facilities as long as Iredell County is categorized in the County Alert System as either an orange county or a red county. This data is updated by our state every two weeks.
Again, I know that some families will be pleased to hear that masks are now required and some will be upset with the decision. The bottom line is that MGSD wants to do everything we can to keep our students safe and in our classrooms.
This mitigation measure is necessary at this point to make that happen.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Stephen Mauney, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools