OSD Mask Requirements
Many of you have likely heard the exciting news about the loosening of mask and social distancing restrictions for vaccinated persons. We want to provide some clarity around what that means for our schools.
Governor Inslee has announced that Washington will adopt the new CDC guidance to no longer require the use of masks for vaccinated people in most indoor and outdoor settings. The Department of health has provided further guidance on what this means for schools for the remainder of this school year as well for 2021-22.
For the rest of this school year, all OSD staff, students, volunteers and visitors must wear an appropriate cloth facial covering when indoors or outdoors in school settings, regardless of vaccination status. (A school setting includes any occasion where students are present (indoors or outdoors), at public school or district events such as sports competitions, recess, and practices (pursuant to GSL rules).
It is important to remember that only a very small percentage of our students who are age 16 or older have received vaccinations. Washington, like other states, has seen a rise in infections among children. Likewise, a significant number of our staff and parents are also not fully vaccinated. Masks and social distancing will continue to provide an extra measure of protection for everyone in our schools.
- We will continue to enforce social distancing protocols requiring a minimum of three feet of spacing between students.
- Masks will be required for all in attendance at graduation and promotion ceremonies.
- Masks are required for all in attendance at OSD sporting events. We will not create separate sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, and we will not ask for proof of vaccination.
At this time, guidance for the 2021-22 school year looks very similar. State Superintendent Reykdal has announced that all Washington schools will open for full-time, full-capacity instruction in the fall. A requirement for mask use in schools may be likely as well.
We are encouraged by the news that all Washington counties will remain in or return to Phase 3 and that our economy will “fully reopen” by June 30th! This ensures that we can move forward with plans for nearly-traditional graduation ceremonies and even a COVID-era version of prom on the 22nd! Thank you all for your hard work and vigilance in helping to keep COVID out of our schools. Just a few more weeks before a well-deserved rest!