Oakwood schools return to mask requirements as COVID cases spike

Oakwood High School. FILE

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Oakwood High School. FILE

Oakwood’s superintendent notified the district’s families that all students and staff will be required to wear masks in buildings during school hours now through Jan. 30 because of spiking COVID-19 cases.

In a message to families, Superintendent Kyle Ramey said the decision was “in an effort to keep our students in school and able to learn, our staff as safe as possible, and contribute in a positive way to the health of the community.”

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Local and state health officials had strongly recommended districts require masks when returning to classes after the holiday break.

“After reviewing various recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Health Department, area health professionals, Dayton Children’s Hospital, the Governor’s office and our nursing team, and considering the District’s need for subs and our current sub shortage, and the foreseeable uptick in cases, requiring masks for all students and staff is the best option for our District at this time,” Ramey wrote.

He said masks, plus staff implementing “multiple prevention strategies” as outlined by the CDC, will help assure we remain in school, in-person five-days a week.

In order to promote safe in-person learning, Oakwood Schools will, in addition to requiring masks, encourage students and staff:

  • To get vaccinated and boosted
  • To practice social distancing to the extent possible
  • To follow hand washing and respiratory etiquette
  • To stay home when sick and get tested as necessary
  • To follow recommended quarantine and isolation guidelines

Ramey acknowledged that no one wants to increase restrictions.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation in our area, and our hope is to move to masks being optional for all students and staff after this brief period of time,” he wrote.

In addition to temporarily requiring all students and staff to wear masks in school buildings during school hours, Oakwood Schools will be adopting the updated CDC and Ohio Department of Health quarantine guidelines. Those guidelines require anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms, to isolate for at least five days. Isolation may end on the sixth day if the person “consistently wears a mask for the next five days.”

Ramey said the goal is to “keep healthy kids in school and sick students at home to recover, maintain in-person classes, continue extracurricular activities (games, matches, concerts, and field trips), and help curb this spike in COVID-19.”

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