School mask mandate comes with fines

By on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Featured Stories

PENDLETON – It is now a state regulation that K-12 schools must require students and staff to wear masks while indoors once the new school year starts. Pendleton School Superintendent Chris Fritsch said it’s important to remember that we have come a long way since this time last spring when everyone just wanted students to be able to return to their classrooms.

“We have our kids back in school,” he said. “We’re excited to have all of our kids back in school and we’ll be able to get through this.”

Fritsch pointed out that Umatilla County’s COVID-19 cases are the highest they’ve been since the pandemic began.

“I was hoping that we would be able to go down the optional route and have some control, but I don’t think our numbers warrant that right now,” he said. “We’re going to call on our community and ask them to work with us and also to do their part to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Fritsch said the penalty for disobeying the mask requirement, is a fine of $500 a day per person in violation per day.

“We’re choosing to follow the rules,” Fritsch said.