Masks, Physical Distancing & High Risk Activities

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Masks

Masks and Physical DistancingMASKS, PHYSICAL DISTANCING & HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES

General Information regarding masks/face coverings:

 

A cloth face covering is anything that completely covers the mouth and nose and fits securely on the sides of the face and under the chin. It should be made of two or more layers of tightly woven fabric with ties or straps that go around a person’s head or behind their ears. Gaters are not an acceptable face covering for school. Students that refuse to comply with any mask-wearing requirement can be excluded from school. Families that do not intend for their children to comply with mask-wearing requirements should contact the school district office for alternate learning options.

 

A face shield with a drape can be used by people with developmental, behavioral, or medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering. A face shield with a drape may also be used by children with similar conditions in childcare, day camp, and K-12 settings. 

 

As noted in the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, face coverings should not be worn by:

  • Those under 2 years of age.
  • People with a medical condition, mental health condition, developmental or cognitive condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes, but is not limited to, people with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistant.
  • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who provide their instruction and use facial and mount movements as part of communication.

The CDC’s order requiring masks on public transportation, regardless of vaccination status, applies to school buses and transportation. Passengers and drivers are required to wear a mask on school buses.

INDOOR MASK REQUIREMENTS

All school personnel, volunteers, visitors, and students must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask or clear face shield with a drape), at school when indoors. 

 

Staff who are verified to be fully vaccinated may be indoors without masks when students are not present or expected to be present. 

 

 School districts must support compliance with mask requirements among staff, students, volunteers, visitors, and families. Students that refuse to comply with any mask-wearing requirement can be excluded from school. Families that do not intend for their children to comply with mask-wearing requirements should contact the school district office for alternative learning options.

OUTDOOR MASK REQUIREMENTS

Per the Secretary of Health’s Mask Order, face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals when outdoors in crowded spaces or when in close contact with people from outside their household for a sustained period of time, as the risk of COVID-19 infection increases with the duration and closeness of contact between individuals. 

 

Schools should support students and staff who choose to wear a mask or face covering outdoor

Students that refuse to comply with any mask-wearing requirement can be excluded from school. Families that do not intend for their children to comply with mask-wearing requirements should contact the school district office for alternative learning options.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Students and staff are to maintain a physical distance of three feet or more in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable.

 

There may be moments, such as passing by others in the hallway or during play at recess when students are not fully physically distanced from each other. 

 

Schools will maximize opportunities to increase physical space between students during all scheduled activities and limit interactions in large group settings. 

 

Schools will maximize distance between students to the degree possible for the following circumstances when mask are not worn: 

  • When eating lunch
  • In common areas outside of the classroom

When it is not possible to maintain at least three feet of physical distance in classrooms (e.g. there is insufficient space compared to students in need of in-person instruction), schools will layer additional prevention strategies to reduce the risk of disease transmission. This could include requiring further improved ventilation, conducting screening testing of students and staff, etc.

 

MEAL TIMES

Schools will maximize distance between students to the degree possible during mealtimes.  When actively eating and drinking, students may remove masks.  Masks are to be worn during a mealtime if students are not actively eating or drinking.  Outdoor activities during a scheduled mealtime should abide by rules of mask wearing when outdoors. 

 

HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES

Schools will maximize distance between students to the degree possible during high-risk activities when increased exhalation or aerosolization occurs, such as PE or exercise, singing or playing instruments, and cheering or shouting. 

 

These activities should be moved outdoors or to large, well-ventilated spaces whenever possible