Optional Mask Removal Now Part of Pottsgrove Plan

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – As expected, the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors during a special meeting held online only Wednesday (March 2, 2022) at 7:30 p.m., unanimously approved changes to the school district health and safety plan that made wearing COVID-19 protective face masks optional in its buildings and on its buses.

The changes ensure the district conforms to federal Centers for Disease Control recommendations issued late last week, and those issued by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health. While the ability to officially abandon mask-wearing was welcomed by district residents who frequently criticize the board for pandemic responses, they also claimed directors failed to act quickly enough to enact it.

With the changes, district Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty reported, Pottsgrove:

  • Reflects CDC-suggested new measurements of virus presence and spread, known as the Level of Community Transmission. They substantially modify perceived illness risks, and allow mask-wearing to be optional at low and medium levels;
  • Represents a change in philosophy in moving from curbing disease transmission to improving disease prevention;
  • Acknowledges that as of Monday (March 7) the county will no longer COVID-19 rates by school district or municipality;
  • Continues current district quarantine and isolation guidelines for those known to be infected by COVID;
  • Expects to discontinue school bus sanitation efforts, which are no longer deemed necessary;
  • May also revisit operating multiple cafeteria sessions for distanced seating;
  • Somewhat reduces contact tracing requirements; and
  • Continues school-based COVID testing with parental consent.

“We’re in a very good position with our level of disease” under the new guidance, Finnerty added, noting that it should soon be in the “low” range.

Among those claiming Pottsgrove should have but failed to act quickly and allowed mask-removal earlier were district residents Katie Coppa, who urged board members to “never put a mask” on the faces of her children “ever again,” and Andrew Korman, who charged the health and safety plan “did no good whatsoever” for students.

Board President Al Leach thanked each of four total commenters for their opinions.

Screenshot of the Pottsgrove board meeting by The Posts