Opinions differ as Clover Hill unmasks


Andy Brown

CCPS has dropped nearly every Covid-19 protocol since students returned for the second semester.

On Feb. 28, 2022, Chesterfield County Public Schools lifted the masks for teachers and faculty, giving them the choice of whether or not they wanted to wear masks. Since then, plenty of teachers have been attending school with visible smiles on their faces.

While Covid has not completely disappeared, making the decision to remove the mask mandate has been polarizing. Some faculty are all for taking the masks off, while some have decided to wait. 

Dean of Students Hope Collins is in support of the mask mandate being lifted. While going mask-free helps her to breathe, she would put it on if surrounded if someone who once had or has overcome an illness that would feel more comfortable with her having it on.

“It’s helping me to breathe better without the mask mandate; but I would certainly put it on if someone who had severe illness wanted me to place it on, I would put it back on,” Collins said. 

While she loves not having to wear a mask and the students of Clover Hill being able to see her face, Collins makes sure that she still takes Covid precautions to sustain a safe environment. 

“I want people to be able to see my face and see my smile: and I do my self-checks, and continue to make sure I’m healthy,” Collins said. 

 Spanish teacher Brett Chonko believes that using logic that is also supported by statistics is what will best help with concluding how to deal with covid and the mask mandate.

“When the county originally applied governor Northam’s removal of the mask mandate, there were almost a million new cases a day and now there are about 29,00 new cases a day: which is 50 times less of a risk,” Chonko said. 

Not all teachers were originally or are currently 100% for the newest mask measures, including Chonko himself.  

“I didn’t agree when masks were allowed to be taken off a month ago, because I thought it was risky: now that the risk is lower I think it is a good idea to take masks off now,” Chonko said. 

The revised mask mandate has not only affected teachers and faculty, it also applies to students. 

Sophomore Kiya Wilkens believes that both teachers and students should continue wearing masks. She feels as long as the pandemic persists, everyone should remain wearing masks and stay six feet apart from each other at school.

“I think everyone should continue wearing masks: the pandemic isn’t over and covid is still spreading, so there is no reason to allow people to walk around with no masks,” Wilkens said.