Lancaster County schools looking forward to end of school mask mandate


LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — For school districts in Lancaster County seeing pushback from parents, Governor Wolf’s announcement lifting the school mask mandate was welcoming news.

“The mask sort of became the symbolic one versus the other. one group versus the other” Bob Hollister, superintendent of the Eastern Lancaster County School District said.

From Penn Manor to Eastern Lancaster County, school board meetings often got heated. “It’s been the most polarizing event that I have had as a superintendent in almost fourteen years,” Hollister said.

But starting in January, school districts are back to the drawing board. To mask or not to mask at all. “That’ll be up to school boards.  A return to local control may mean some calm,” Hollister said.

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“This comes as a sense of relief. It comes as a signal that maybe COVID is going to finally be in our rearview mirror,” Hollister said.

In Eastern Lancaster County, they chose a handoffs approach and chose not to force the mask mandate.

“This was becoming a bigger issue and that’s why the governor stepped in and mandated it. The governor assumed school districts would the require the masks and pushback from parent groups was firm,” Hollister said.  

Hollister says with vaccines now being FDA approved for kids, this move makes sense.

“Folks will feel safe so they’ll feel more comfortable allowing their kids to take off their masks. The whole thing has just started shifting in the right direction,” Hollister said.

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