West Carrollton Schools mandate masks for students, staff starting Thursday

West Carrollton will mandate masks for students and staff starting Sept. 2, 2021. STAFF FILE PHOTO
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West Carrollton will mandate masks for students and staff starting Sept. 2, 2021. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Another Miami Valley school district is requiring students and staff to wear masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and its delta variant.

The West Carrollton School District announced the mask mandate Wednesday evening due to ”the spread of the delta variant, the number of positive COVID cases and exposures resulting in the quarantine of students has continued to trend upward.”

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The mandate will be in place starting Thursday for all of the district’s buildings, all school transportation and during any indoor school activity for preschool through 12th-grade students and staff, the district stated in a release.

“We realize there is conflicting information regarding mask wearing, but we are making this decision based on our own school data,” the district said. “We know from the data that quarantines from last school year were lower when students and staff were wearing masks. This indicates that reinstating our mask policy should result in fewer quarantines and enable us to keep students and staff in school.”

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West Carrollton Schools will continue to monitor the number of quarantines in its schools, as well as guidelines from local, state and federal health agencies, officials said.

The district’s guidelines and those from the Ohio Department of Health outline how wearing a mask can prevent quarantines from school settings. For more information including how, why and when students are quarantined, visit West Carrollton School District COVID-19 Guidelines 2021-2022. The district said its guidelines are consistent with Ohio Department of Health K-12 Quarantine Guidelines.

“It is imperative students be kept home if not feeling well and that the school be informed. Please do not send your child to school if he or she has been exposed to COVID outside of school and notify the school,” the district stated. “That would include not participating in sports or any other extracurricular activity. Students who have tested positive should not come to school or participate in any sport or extracurricular activity.”

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Students will get mask breaks throughout the day and will not be required to wear a mask outside as long as they are following appropriate social distancing measures, the district said. It will be continuing to deep clean throughout the day, providing hand sanitizer, teaching proper hand washing techniques and encouraging social distancing whenever possible.

The school district said it will be continuing to evaluate its mask policy during the coming weeks and to keep district families informed of any changes.