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Bridgeport mandates face masks in class

BRIDGEPORT — Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Bridgeport Exempted Village School District, a mask mandate is now in place.

According to Superintendent of Schools Brent Ripley, the five-member board of education voted unanimously to institute the mandate until Oct. 20 after an hour-long executive session during Wednesday night’s regular monthly meeting.

“It is for all students, faculty and visitors to the building during instructional hours,” Ripley said of the order. “We are trying to slow the spread.”

He said no masks are required, at this point, during extracurricular activities. However, the district canceled all high school volleyball matches, a junior high football game and the varsity game with Conotton Valley tonight, which was set to be the Bulldogs’ homecoming contest. The homecoming game and dance have not yet been rescheduled, according to school officials.

District nurse Gena Spurlock told board members the district had 21 active cases Wednesday and had quarantined 113 students.

“It’s ever-changing. We’ll get a new case, and a case that had been under quarantine drops off the list,” Spurlock explained. “I keep a running list. It’s a mixture of students, parents and different outside exposures.”

Spurlock said the district only had 51 total cases in the 2020-21 school year.

“We vaccinated eight students on Wednesday,” she added. “We have another vaccination clinic set for Oct. 6 for anyone who resides within the district.”

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