Mask Mandate - Transportation (02/28/2022)
On Friday, February 25th, the CDC removed the requirement for facial coverings/masks on public school transportation. Effective tomorrow, Monday, February 28, 2022, masks are optional on all Wickliffe City School District transportation. Masks will continue to be available on WCSD buses and vans at this time.
Director of Operations & Human Resources
Effective February 25, 2022, CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 schools and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level. School systems at their discretion may choose to require that people wear masks on buses or vans.
Mask Mandate (02/14/2022)
Recently, I have talked with public health officials in Lake and Cuyahoga Counties about recommendations related to face coverings, examined the recent data related to COVID infections and transmissions, and reviewed mask policies in school districts throughout Ohio.
Based on all of those factors, I am removing the face covering requirement for the Wickliffe Schools effective February 14, 2022.
I recognize that some of you agree with the decision and some do not. I respect and appreciate your position. Please know this decision was made based on the data and facts currently available to us.
Data for your information:
- CWRU Trajectory of new cases in Lake County is now lower than at any time since the pandemic started.
- According to the Ohio Department of Health, infection rates are moving toward endemic.
- At this time, only 28% of school districts in Ohio are still requiring face coverings, and districts that are "mask optional" do not have higher rates of infection than districts that remain in a "mask requirement."
- Positivity rates and cases per capita in Lake County are lower than at any time during the pandemic.
- Statewide cases per 100,000 are lower than at any time since August 2021.
All of the data and make discussions with public health officials informed this decision.
Finally, this decision may seem abrupt, however, it is not for two reasons:
- I have been carefully monitoring COVID data and over the past several weeks have seen positive progress.
- Transitioning slowly to mask optional would have been difficult. For example, if we tell people masks would become optional in a week, it would have been a challenge to keep students in masks during the transition time.
Please know that families that are not comfortable in a mask optional environment may choose to move to a virtual learning option.
Thank you for your patience and support during this time. I wish everyone good health.
COVID Protocol Changes (02/01/2022)
Since returning to school in early January, the number of COVID cases in the Wickliffe Schools has dropped significantly and continues to trend downward. The last reported case was on January 25, 2022. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released new recommendations for K-12 schools on January 26, 2022 (see attachment). District staff have reviewed the ODH recommendations and have developed these protocols:
Masks will continue to be mandated in all WCSD buildings and school buses. We will continue with the ODH's Mask to Stay/Test to Play recommendations (attached). Families are encouraged to send their child(ren) to school with a mask every day. If a student does not have a mask, one will continue to be provided. Parents/guardians should continue to report positive cases using the online reporting form. Students who have tested positive or have been exposed should be kept home and the absence reported to the attendance line at 440.943.3240.
- The WCSD will cease universal contact tracing. In practice, we will continue to monitor COVD cases, but will not contact trace every case as we have to this point. District staff will continue to monitor for outbreaks and clusters in classrooms, grade levels, and schools.
- COVID case reporting will move to a one-time per week notification. This communication will occur on Friday evenings and will include student and staff COVID cases reported in that one-week time frame. The first report will be on Friday, February 4th.
Our policies and protocols can be found on the WCSD COVID Information & Reporting page. These policies and protocols, including the changes noted above, are subject to change based on our COVID case reporting and trends. We will continue to review and act on recommendations from the state and local health agencies.
School Exclusion Protocols (Rev. 02/14/2022)
The WCSD COVID protocols and information have been compiled in alignment with recommendations from the Lake County General Health District and the Ohio Department of Health. Parents/Guardians should refer to the WCSD School Exclusion Protocols to determine whether or not their child should attend school (these protocols apply to non-school exposures).
Mask to Stay/ Test to Play (applies to grades K-12 only; preschool exposures at school will still result in school exclusion)
In late October 2021, the Ohio Department of Health and Lake County General Health District released new guidelines that are applicable for COVID-19 exposures that occur in the classroom or school activity setting: WCSD Mask to Stay Test to Play
Reporting a positive COVID-19 case
To report a positive COVID-19 case: WCSD COVID Reporting Form
COVID Notifications (February 1, 2022 to present; updated on Fridays when school is in session)
After March 25, 2022, notice will be sent on Fridays only if a positive case has been reported.