OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — Fifth grader Breylan Florkey can be found most days playing basketball in his driveway. It's his way of unwinding after a long day at school.
What You Need To Know
- Oldham County Schools reinstated its mask mandate on Jan. 11
- Oldham County sits 12th with the most total COVID cases in Kentucky
- The Board of Education will revisit the mask requirement at its next meeting
- Parents are having mixed reaction to the news
His mother, Jordyn Florkey said her children are feeling the impact of masking up again after Oldham County's school board voted to bring the rules back.
“They cried when they found out they had to wear masks again,” Florkey said. “I had other parents texting me that they were crying the morning of, kids didn't want to go to school.”
But for Samantha Reynolds, another Oldham County School parent, it was a different kind of feeling after hearing the news.
“My son hasn't stopped wearing masks but I know other kids in his class had not been and with him being 4 and still unvaccinated, it was kind of a sigh of relief,” Reynolds said. “I had so much anxiety sending him back after winter break.”
When the district reported seeing "an increase in positive cases in students and staff”, the Oldham County Board of Education voted on Jan. 10 to require students, staff and visitors to wear masks in all buildings.
That comes just two months after the board voted to lift the mask mandate on Nov. 11 and was officially dropped for all students on Nov. 29.
According to OCS Test to Stay data, the district had 484 completed tests and 32 positive cases the day before the mask mandate was reinstated.
“I just hope that they open their eyes and do what's best for our kids, not their physical health but their mental health which is most important at this point,” Florkey said.
The Kentucky COVID-19 daily report also says Oldham County sits 12th in state for cases with 13,809, well behind Jefferson County who has the most with just over 169,000 cases.
“I'm hoping they'll see the difference, I'm hoping that cases will go down and they will be able to see that, 'Hey there's a difference when we have these kids masked vs. not.' And I'm hoping they'll keep it instated,” Reynolds said.
The Oldham County Board of Education will revisit the mask requirement at the Jan. 24 board meeting.