Bexley School Board lifts mask requirement for outdoor activities

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Based on new guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health, the Bexley City Schools Board of Education voted 5-0 on November 9 to lift the requirement that students wear masks during outdoor recess. to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

A requirement that all students and staff wear masks indoors remains.

Bexley Town Schools

The board previously voted 5-0 on September 9 to approve an amended universal mask resolution requiring students to wear masks outside during recess, in addition to wearing masks indoors.

The resolution approved Nov. 9 revises the Sept. 9 decision to make masks optional for students during recess, Superintendent Jason Fine said.

The updated policy is now to “recommend masks during recess, compared to the requirement,” Fine said.

The ODH released additional COVID-19 quarantine options on October 25 – “Mask to stay” and “Mask to play” – for school districts and local health departments in Ohio. The guidelines are designed to allow students to stay in school after exposure to COVID-19, ODH director Dr Bruce Vanderhoff said.

“While vaccination and masking remain essential elements in ensuring a safe school environment to support learning in school, we provide a school-based alternative to out-of-school quarantine for students and school staff at risk. to COVID-19, ”Vanderhoff said in a press release. “Those exposed outside of school-related activities, such as in the household, should continue to follow standard quarantine guidelines. “

Schools in the town of Bexley have interpreted the new ODH guidelines as allowing more flexibility for mask wearing when students participate in outdoor recess, said Harley Williams, director of personnel and student operations at the district.

“We’re trying to process, put together and synthesize all of this information,” Williams said. “Our nurses, they have worked mightily to protect our students here; they communicated with parents in our community.

Williams said as of Nov. 9, the district was aware of 60 cases of students who had been exposed to COVID-19, and all of the cases occurred outside of the school setting – whether in households, in family vacations or other places not associated with Bexley Schools.

Board member Alissha Mitchell said the district should communicate as much as possible with the community to clarify its updated mask policies.

“I think sometimes reminding (people) of the difference between mandatory (and optional) is also helpful,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the district should help community members “understand the impact of these decisions when our students leave the building and what the” school setting “is and what is not and to what extent is our. obligation to protect them “.

The district is working to update policies to adhere to guidelines from public health officials based on where state and county COVID-19 workloads are located and recommended restrictions, a said Board Chair, Marlee Snowdon.

“We don’t have much choice in this area,” Snowdon said. “There is always a pandemic, so there are no perfect choices. “

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This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Bexley School Board lifts mask requirement for outdoor activities


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