It has been two weeks since we made the decision to shift to a campus wide universal indoor masking policy. With quarantine numbers hovering around 14% for most of the school year, we made the move in order to keep as many students in school as possible. Since moving to universal masks we have seen those numbers drop significantly.
As we mentioned at the time, we would continue to evaluate our school's progress as well as local community numbers. We passed along that as our school and community numbers dropped to acceptable ranges, we would look to modify the universal requirement to wear masks. As of today York County's numbers have dropped to their lowest totals since mid-July. At the same time, with school quarantine numbers below 2% and positive student cases below 1%, we are at a much different place than we were at the end of September.
Additionally, yesterday we received an Updated Guidance For Schools from SCDHEC. On page 13 they modified the view of who is exposed in a "Close Contact" situation. Students who wear masks are no longer considered to be exposed as close contacts to infected students.
With all that in mind we would like to make the following changes to our masking policies:
Beginning on Monday, October 18th we will request and strongly urge, but not require, that students wear masks. HOWEVER, students who DO wear masks are no longer at risk for close-contact exposure and will not be required to quarantine. Teachers and staff will continue to wear masks while working with students.
- We will continue to monitor the local community and school data and may temporarily move back into universal masks on a classroom, grade level, or school building. These decisions will be made as needed when quarantine or positive cases rise to levels that make it necessary.
Thank you again for your continued partnership and have a good day.
York Prep Admin Team