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Fort Bend ISD update: Board approves mask mandate; elementary campus switches to remote learning

The vote came just hours after it was announced one campus would switch to virtual learning because of an increase in COVID cases.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend ISD’s Board of Trustees late Monday voted 4-3 to approve mandating masks for students, staff and visitors at all of its campuses.

Note: the video in this story is from an Aug. 11 broadcast when Fort Bend County increased its COVID risk indicator to the highest level

A start date for the mask requirement was not immediately determined.

The mandate takes effect once Administration develops protocols on how the requirement will be implemented, particularly when it comes to outdoor use, student activities such as band and choir, and for children with special needs," stated the district in a press release early Tuesday morning.

The approval of the mask mandate comes, "in view of increasing data showing rising COVID-19 infection rates in the district."

RELATED: LIST: School COVID case dashboards for districts across the Houston area

RELATED: Fort Bend ISD COVID news

Switch to remote learning at Fort Bend ISD campus

Just hours earlier, Fort Bend announced that Pecan Grove Elementary would shift from face-to-face instruction to online learning for the rest of the week.

The first day of school in Fort Bend ISD was Aug. 11.

READ: Are masks required at my kid's school? Here's what each Houston-area school district says

Fort Bend ISD statement on mask mandate:

FORT BEND ISD (August 23, 2021) – In keeping with its top priority of safeguarding the health and safety of all students and staff, and in view of increasing data showing rising COVID-19 infection rates in the District, Fort Bend ISD’s Board of Trustees voted 4-3 at the scheduled Board Workshop on Monday night in favor of mandating masks. 

The mandate takes effect once Administration develops protocols on how the requirement will be implemented, particularly when it comes to outdoor use, student activities such as band and choir, and for children with special needs. 

Protocols for FBISD’s mask mandate will align with CDC recommendations. 

“The District will draft reasonable protocols to accommodate our students, staff and families while keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible,” FBISD Acting Superintendent Diana Sayavedra said. “We are aware that some families may feel anxious about the mask mandate, but we hope that we can all unite in the spirit of cooperation and support of our students and staff.” 

As the issue of mask mandates works its way through the legal system, Fort Bend ISD remains committed to taking all prudent actions to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and provide safe learning and work environments for all its stakeholders.

Watch: Houston-area schools begin the year with COVID precautions