Johnson County health officials recommend requiring indoor masks at public schools this fall

COVID-19 teens

The Shawnee Mission School District is the only huge district in Johnson County still to challenge a formal coverage on mask use for the 2021-22 faculty yr. Other substantial Johnson County districts have determined to make masks optional — a move that puts them at odds with a new advice from JCDHE. File image credit rating Emma Kate Squire.

The Johnson County Section of Health and Atmosphere on Friday issued a new set of recommendations aimed at stopping the unfold of COVID-19 in schools — tips that might set college boards at odds with general public wellness officers.

In a letter despatched to the superintendents and university boards of Johnson County’s 6 public school districts, JCDHE Director Sanmi Areola, PhD and Neighborhood Overall health Officer Joseph LeMaster, MD, wrote that JCDHE “recommends that school boards implement a plan that calls for indoor mask putting on among the folks who are not absolutely vaccinated.”

The letter also urges faculty districts to “strongly advertise vaccination amid your eligible college students, college and staff members.”

Why it matters: The faculty boards of the USD 232 (De Soto), Blue Valley and Olathe University Districts have all adopted policies in recent months that will make encounter masks optional for students this tumble.

The Shawnee Mission Faculty District is the only big district in the county still to formalize a policy on mask carrying for the 2021-22 college yr.

JCDHE’s recommendation letter to college came the same day that the consortium of 11 general public wellbeing places of work in the Kansas Town metro location issued a new advisory recommending that unvaccinated individuals don masks indoors. That suggestion arrived in response to lagging vaccine rates and a sharp upward trend in new COVID-19 instances — albeit at degrees considerably underneath the peak of the pandemic late previous yr.

“Substantial dangers continue to be to people who are not absolutely vaccinated, such as children underneath age 12 a long time for whom there is no currently approved vaccine,” Areola and LeMaster wrote in the letter to superintendents. “The extremely transmissible Delta variant is now the dominant pressure in Johnson County, ensuing in an increase in new instances and a lot of outbreaks involved with summer time camps and university-age courses.”

What comes next: The Shawnee Mission Board of Schooling next fulfills at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 26 and has 1 extra conference soon after that — on Aug. 9 — right before the new school year commences.

JCDHE’s letter to school officials is embedded under:


Sharon Eva

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