LYNCHBURG, Va. – During Governor Ralph Northam’s 32-minute news conference Thursday, not once did he use the phrase “mask mandate” while addressing the policy for grades K through 12 — even when asked about it multiple times.
That has many wondering if it was a political move ahead of November’s election.
“We expect [schools divisions] to follow the law,” said Northam.
That law was put on the books in March, requiring school divisions to offer in-person instruction five days a week and follow CDC mitigation strategies.
“If [divisions] choose not to follow it, they should have a frank discussion with their legal counsel,” said Northam.
Yet the governor’s comments Thursday differ from what the CDC and Virginia’s own Department of Health recommended late last month.
“The intent here is to empower those local decision-makers to make data-driven, locally informed decisions that best suit the situation in their area,” said Dr. Laurie…