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If you’re planning to attend the New Castle Area School Board meetings Monday and Sept. 20, you’ll need to wear a face mask.

All school board members and members of the public will be asked to wear a mask regardless of vaccine status, board president Stacey Fleo said Friday.

The board meets for its public work session at 6 p.m. Monday in the school administration building at Croton Avenue and Cascade streets. An athletic committee meeting will precede it at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

The board’s regular public meeting will convene at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20.

The mask precautions are because of an uptick in cases of COVID-19 and the related Delta variant in Lawrence County, she said, adding that school board members and administrators also will be wearing them as part of the state mandate.

The school district’s website, ncasd.com, now has a COVID-19 dashboard posted where the public can view the number of positives cases in each school in the school system.

On Friday, four cases were reported in the George Washington Intermediate school and nine in the junior-senior high school, according to the dashboard figures. There were none at the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center.

Superintendent Debbie DeBlasio also posted a letter on the website on Aug. 31, reinforcing the governor’s mask mandate for students and all personnel, regardless of their vaccine status.

All students and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings while indoors on school grounds. For outdoor activities, masks are optional, her letter states.

The students by law also are required to wear their masks while on the school buses going to and from school.

According to the state Department of Health website, Lawrence County had 62 positive cases of the virus between Sept. 2 and 9, in children ages 5 through 18.

Since Aug. 16 there have been 129 cumulative cases of children in the district in that age group.

New Castle isn’t the only district that is providing case counts of COVID on its website.The Union Area School District also has posted a COVID-19 case count. Its current two week count showed nine positives in the elementary school and four in the middle high school. The numbers were updated Friday.

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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