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Lordstown schools mandate masks

50-plus students in quarantine after close contact, positive tests

LORDSTOWN — Because of a “significant increase” in the number of students with positive COVID-19 cases and the number of close contacts quarantining in the past week, the Lordstown school district now is requiring masks for all students and staff inside buildings.

School Superintendent Greg Bonamase said masks became mandated on Monday after hearing from board members and parents concerned with the number of students out of school.

“This week we have seen more cases than we saw most of last year. We had over 50 students who had to be quarantined, which was too many. I recommended to the board that we go with mandating masks. We want the students to be able to be in school and be safe,” Bonamase said.

He said the number of students or staff sick or quaranting will be monitored. Bonamase said if the numbers do not change, the district will look at blended and / or remote learning.

“We do not want to have to go to remote learning, but we have to see how the numbers are. Our goal is to have as much normalcy during this craziness,” he said.

Bonamase said he does not want students to miss such activities as homecoming and a Sadie Hawkins dance that are coming in October.

He said as long as students are masked and do not show any symptoms, they do not have to quarantine and miss school. Bonamase said he has received a lot of support from parents over his decision on masks.

“I understand there are people on both sides of this issue. We will continue to do what is best for the safety of the students. Our goal is to continue to keep students in school, in person, five days a week,” Bonamase said.

In other business, the district has completed improvements at the track.

Bonamase said work by Astro Turf Corp. included fixing all drains around the track, resurfacing and providing a top coat to the track and over the drains for protection, and fixing any other areas.

“When the track was put in four years ago, the top coat was not put on the track at that time. Back then a top coat was optional,” he said.

Bonamase said Astro Turf told school officials a top coat provides protection.

“Doing this will provide four to five more years out of the track and help to maintain it,” he said.

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