NEISD board president missed mask mandate meeting after testing positive for COVID-19

‘I wanted to make sure that I did not spread the virus to anyone else,’ president said

North East ISD (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The North East ISD board president was absent from last week’s contentious school board meeting over a mask mandate because she tested positive for COVID-19, she revealed in a statement on Monday.

Board of Trustees President Shannon Grona acknowledged “some concern” after she did not attend Thursday’s emergency meeting, when the board voted 5-1 to require masks on campus.

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“I was extremely upset when I called (Superintendent) Dr. Maika because I was so disappointed that I could not attend the meeting,” Grona said.

Though Grona did not take a position on the mask mandate, she encouraged everyone to get tested if they feel sick.

“I did so because I wanted to make sure that I did not spread the virus to anyone else, including Dr. Maika or my fellow Board members,” Grona said.

A message from NEISD Board of Trustees President, Shannon Grona: I know there has been some concern expressed in the...

Posted by North East Independent School District - NEISD on Monday, August 23, 2021

More than 100 people signed up for public comment during Thursday’s meeting to take a stance on the mandate. The mandate went into effect on Monday and is in effect for up to six weeks.

In the end, the board voted on implementing the mask mandate “in the interest of student health and safety” as the state experiences a surge in COVID-19 infections.

A week before the board meeting, Superintendent Sean Maika told parents that schools have reported more COVID-19 infections.

Maika cited Castle Hills Elementary School in particular, because it’s a year-round school that opened in July.

“To date, at Castle Hills, we have seen 18 confirmed student cases of COVID-19 and four staff cases,” Maika said. “Also, our data shows 12 of those student cases were due to close contact at the school. In contrast, there were only 11 total reported cases at Castle Hills last year.”

Maika strongly urged that students and staff wear masks before the mandate was put in effect.

“If spread continues, we may be forced to close schools,” he said.

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