Decision on school’s appeal of mask mandate citation to come Thursday, Sept. 23

A time has now been set for a ruling on the appeal filed by Seven Oaks Classical School of its mask mandate citation from the Monroe County board of health: Thursday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m.

The county’s mask mandate is a health order that is intended to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus.

It’s the three-member board of county commissioners that heard the appeal on Monday, and that will now render the decision on Thursday.

The scheduling announcement came around noon Wednesday at the end of the county commissioners work session, which followed their regular Wednesday morning meeting. From a procedural point of view, the board is continuing its work session until Thursday.

Board president Julie Thomas said at the work session, “We’d like some more time to continue our individual reading and research, because we did have a lot of materials provided to us, which we appreciate.”

The appeal filed by Seven Oaks Classical School challenged a $250 citation it had received from Monroe County’s department of health for an alleged violation of the county’s Aug. 5 mask mandate.

The appeal was heard by commissioners on Monday. For background see previous B Square coverage: No same-day decision after hearing on school’s appeal of mask mandate citation

The citation was based on a visit to the school from county health administrator Penny Caudill. The note on the citation reads: “Observed few masks, although some students, faculty and staff had masks on.”

Later on Wednesday, at 3:30 p.m., the county’s board of health  is scheduled to meet and decide whether to extend the mask mandate into October.

If the board of health does not act to extend the masking requirement, then it will expire at the end of September. If the board extends the mask mandate, the board of commissioners would need to approve the extension at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

[Updated Sept. 22 at 5:27 p.m. The board of health voted unanimously at its meeting to extend the mask mandate through October. There is a provision in the order that ends the mandate earlier, if Monroe County’s community spread drops enough. That sets up the county board of commissioners for a vote on the extended order at its Sept. 29 meeting.]