Kettering schools change plan, will keep COVID-19 mask mandate longer

KETTERING — Kettering City Schools is keeping its COVID-19 face mask mandate until at least Jan. 18, changing a decision made earlier this month.

Superintendent Scott Inskeep had announced that the school district planned to lift the face mask requirement for students and staff in classrooms on Jan. 3. The mandate has been in place since late August.

“Due to some of the increases that have been prevalent in our community — as well as the concerns from the medical and science fields — we’re going to hold off on the mask optional direction,” Inskeep said in a message to the Dayton Daily News.

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He has cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and a marked increase in coronavirus cases among staff members and students after Thanksgiving in maintaining the current policy longer.

Between Nov. 6 to Nov. 26, Kettering schools recorded 34 positive cases and four quarantines among students, while having seven positive cases and one quarantine for staff members, according to its website.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 17, the district had 126 positive cases and 59 quarantines among students, while recording 29 positive cases and five quarantines for staff members, data shows.

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District officials “expect that we will see the same spike in positive cases after families and staff travel to holiday gatherings and vacation destinations over winter break,” Inskeep said in announcing the change on the district’s website.

Last week Centerville City Schools announced it will also maintain its mask mandate until at least Jan. 18.

Centerville Schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said that district had also seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases since Thanksgiving, “and we expect another uptick in cases” after classes resume in January.

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