Xenia no longer requires masks at school

District will still enforce “mask to stay, test to play” for those who have been exposed to COVID

Xenia schools will no longer require masks for all students and staff beginning today, the school district announced.

The district said anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 must continue to wear a mask to stay in school. Xenia said it will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the best guidance of public health experts.

Superintendent Gabe Lofton said the change occurred after the number of active cases began to trend downward.

“As I have often stated throughout the past two years, we will pivot toward more protections when the situation warrants, but we will also ease up on those precautions as the situation continues to evolve,” he said.

The district said it will keep its “Mask to stay, test to play” policy in place. That requires a student who had direct contact with COVID to mask for 10 days and remain asymptomatic to stay in school. It requires a student in sports or other extracurricular activities to mask, remain asymptomatic and be tested twice to continue that participation.

Students and staff who choose to wear masks are encouraged to continue doing so. And all are encouraged to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands and staying home when sick.

“I understand that many members of our community will have mixed feelings about this change, and that is entirely understandable,” said Lofton. “Like schools across the country, we are learning to manage COVID in ways we could not have imagined even a year ago, essentially finding ways to live with it long-term as safely as possible.”

A few school districts have already taken away mask requirements, including Huber Heights schools, but other districts, like Dayton Public and Kettering, still require masks for students and staff.

Governors in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon announced Monday they would lift mask requirements in schools in upcoming weeks, according to the Associated Press.

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