Delaware City Schools and the Delaware Area Career Center announced over the weekend that they would be removing their mask requirements when classes resumed on Monday after new guidelines were published by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention last week.
The CDC reported last week that it was no longer recommending masks indoors for all Americans and shifted to only recommending them in communities with a “high” spread level. According to the CDC, Delaware County is at the “medium” level, which means that residents should stay up-to-date with vaccines, get tested if they experience symptoms, and speak to their health care provider about wearing a mask and other precautions if they are at high risk for severe illness.
On Saturday, DACC Superintendent Jay Poroda announced that the school would be lifting its mask requirement on Monday. The DACC had previously planned to lift the requirement in two weeks.
“Throughout the pandemic, we committed to you that when making decisions about the health and safety of our community regarding COVID-19 we would follow the guidance and recommendations of our local, state and federal health officials,” Poroda said. “What I’m announcing today aligns directly with this commitment … After reviewing the latest guidance, and Delaware County’s data, the Delaware Area Career Center will be lifting its mask mandate beginning on Monday, February 28th.”
Poroda said students will still be allowed to wear masks at the school.
“As always, we will fully support whatever decisions you and your family choose to make regarding masking at school,” he said. “In addition, we will continue to have extra masks, provide hand sanitizers throughout the building and monitor the status of the pandemic in order to make informed decisions to keep you and our district safe. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to help us maintain a safe, healthy and welcoming learning environment. I’m so proud of each of you for you doing your part.”
On Sunday, Delaware City Schools reached out to families to report the district would also be lifting its mask requirement on Monday. The district had also planned to lift the requirement in two weeks.
“As you know, Delaware City Schools had announced that masks would no longer be required starting on Monday, March 14,” the district said in an email. “That decision was based on guidance available from the CDC and state/local health departments when the decision was announced in early February. As you are aware, the CDC just recently updated their guidance. In accordance with our commitment to follow the advice of federal, state and local health officials and per the updated CDC mask guidelines for K-12 schools and on school transportation, masks will no longer be required for Delaware City Schools beginning Monday, February 28.”
The district added that masks are “welcome and encouraged” for anyone who wishes to continue wearing one. The district added masks will still be required in specific circumstances.
“Masking will remain in place for those returning to school with the reduced quarantine protocols,” the district said. “As always we ask that our families be diligent in assessing their own health and keep your child home if they are ill. Our enhanced cleaning protocols will remain in place and good hand hygiene is encouraged. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our schools and community and continue to adjust our protocols based on the advice of health experts.”
More information about the updated guidelines can be found at cdc.gov.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.