Oakwood, Northmont latest schools to drop mask mandates

The Oakwood and Northmont school districts will be dropping their face mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region are dropping.

Oakwood will drop its mandate in school buildings starting Feb. 28, according to the district.

Masks will be optional for PK-12 students, staff and visitors while in Oakwood buildings during school hours starting after the district’s winter break, which is next week.

“We will continue to track our data, monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in the district and the community,” Superintendent Kyle Ramey said in the announcement on the district’s website. “We are prepared to again use mandatory mask requirements as a tool to mitigate COVID-19 if necessary.”

Northmont spokeswoman Jenny Wood said the district’s school board voted unanimously Monday night to drop their mask mandate. Students and staff no longer had to wear masks at school beginning Tuesday, Wood said.

Oakwood and Northmont’s decisions follow several Dayton-area school districts opting to drop mask mandates.

West Carrollton schools announced Monday that masks would be optional beginning Feb. 22, the same day that Beavercreek will stop requiring masks. Centerville, Kettering and Xenia all said last week that students and staff no longer had to wear masks in the buildings.

Tipp City, Troy, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights and several other districts had already taken away mask mandates. Others, including Dayton Public Schools, Trotwood-Madison and Yellow Springs, still have a mask mandate in place.

Officials from Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County on Monday said they are encouraged by the recent downward trend of COVID cases, but cautioned that many are still infected, including children, and not enough people region-wide have been vaccinated.