Dayton Public to continue to require students, staff wear masks

Dayton Public Schools will continue to require students and staff to wear face masks, despite updated guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Although there have been changes in guidelines from the Governor and the CDC, the Dayton Public Schools will continue to follow the measures that have been in place for the safety of all involved,” read a statement for DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. “Many are still without vaccinations and we need to remain vigilant in our focus on healthy classrooms and schools.”

The district is also continuing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

“With these guidelines in place, schools have successfully completed more than two months of in-person learning,” Lolli said. “With only a little over a month left in the school year, it is in the best interest of everyone to continue to abide by these guidelines.”

DPS paused classes for six weeks in the winter due to an increase in student and staff absences. The break coincided with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across the state, with other area school districts opting to go to remote learning. Lolli said in November some student and staff absences were due to COVID and quarantining, but others were attributed to ordinary illnesses and leave time.

As a result, DPS moved its last day of school to June 29.

“I am confident that we will finish out the school year successfully if we keep these measures in place,” Lolli said. “If there are any changes that are made, you will be notified immediately.”

DeWine announced Friday that vaccinated Ohioans no longer need to wear masks. The announcement came more than two weeks ahead of the scheduled expiration date for all the state’s public health mandates.

He noted on Friday, however, that the CDC still recommends that everyone wear masks while in healthcare settings, on public transportation or when inside a business that chooses to require masks.

Last week, the CDC advised that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physical distance, expect where required by law or local workplace or business guidance.

On Saturday, the CDC issued additional guidance recommending that schools continue to require face masks, social distance and encourage frequent hand washing.

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