The Diocese of Covington will require masking in all its schools beginning Sept. 7, “based on our experiences last year with COVID-19 cases and the rise in case activity in our region,” superintendent Kendra McGuire announced Friday afternoon.
“While there are many sides to the arguments about masks, we are asking families to work with us as we make decisions that we feel are best for our school communities,” she wrote in a statement.
Some parents in the district sued earlier in the year to have the diocese exempt from statewide school masking orders enacted by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear — and on Aug. 19, they won. A federal judge ruled that Beshear could not decide the masking policies of parochial schools.
But the diocese is returning to masking voluntarily, McGuire said, in order to protect students from the early-fall uptick in COVID-19 cases.
The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 can infect even vaccinated people, and other school districts have canceled entire weeks of class due to widespread illness of students and staff.
“I have seen a lot of un-Christian words and actions on all sides of this debate,” McGuire wrote in Friday’s announcement. “But we cannot allow these differences to divide us. As Catholic school communities, it is important for us to come together and treat one another as Christ taught us. While it seems that we will not be able to come to agreement on one COVID-19 response plan, we can unite in prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can help us learn to live in peace with one another despite our differences.”