Mercer County Schools start first day with in-person learning and face mask mandates

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County Schools, following similar protocols to other schools throughout the region, returns to in-person learning, facemask mandates, and another unpredictable year of keeping up with weekly COVID-19 updates.

“Some of the main precautions we are taking is making sure we are wearing our masks, social distancing as much as possible, and practicing proper handwashing, using sanitizer, things of that nature,” says Joshua Riffe, Principle of Pikeview Middle School.

With the mask protocol in place, the county will strictly follow the map appointed by the DHHR, with those protocols changing depending on the color every Friday.

“If we are orange or red then it’s masks all of the time. They will put that color out on Sundays, they’ll make that call, and parents should receive that phone call, and it will be posted to the Facebook page,” he says.

Masks will be optional only in classrooms if Mercer County is green, yellow, or gold on the map that week. But, in spite of the guidelines, the school board is happy to welcome students back to a close-to-normal as possible school year again.

“My hopes were to start this school year just like in previous years so that the kids would be comfortable with their classes and such, but we are trying to do it as normal as possible even though we do have these requirements, and it’s very exciting to have the kids back here with us.”

Mercer County School’s mask mandate will require students to wear face masks on buses and any time they are not in the classroom no matter what color the DHHR map is showing.

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