COVID Update: Masking and Quarantines - November 5, 2021
November 5, 2021
We appreciate the very high level of compliance that our students demonstrated by consistently wearing their masks since we announced our requirement in September. At that time, we explained that we would monitor our numbers of COVID cases and quarantines and revise our procedures as conditions allowed. On the last day of school before we began to mandate masks, 498 students were in quarantine due to exposure to a positive case. Today, only 78 students are in quarantine. The mask mandate succeeded in our primary goal of keeping students in school.
Recently, we received guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health that allows students to stay in school even if they were not wearing a mask when they came in contact with a positive case. This guidance, combined with our own data and the fact that children ages 5-11 are now eligible for vaccinations, helps us to feel confident in suspending our mask mandate. Students and staff are welcome to continue to wear masks, but, as of this Monday, November 8, they are not mandatory.
Beginning Monday, we will follow these procedures for all staff and students:
Students and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID: stay home; parents should contact a physician and follow their advice.
Students and staff who test positive: quarantine at home for ten days.
Students and staff exposed to a positive COVID case outside of school: quarantine at home for ten days, or obtain a negative test five to seven days after exposure and return after the seventh day of quarantine. Students and staff who are vaccinated may continue to come to school but must wear a mask.
Close contacts of staff and students who are exposed in school to a positive case:
We will inform close contacts via automated phone call that we expect them to wear a mask for 14 days from the time of exposure. Students and staff may shorten this period to seven days if they can provide proof of a negative test administered five days after exposure.
For athletes exposed in their sport, we will follow these procedures:
Continue to participate unless symptoms develop.
Wear a mask as able (on sideline, in locker room, etc.).
Test upon notification of a close contact, then again on days 5-7 after the contact.
SARS-CoV-2 viral (PCR or antigen) tests are appropriate but must be proctored. Email all test results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point, there have been no changes in bus expectations. Students must continue to wear their masks on all buses at all times.