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Cuyahoga County issues guidance to schools recommending masks be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status

"It is a best practice that can continue to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission and other respiratory infections."

CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video is from a previously published story

Ahead of its COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) officials have released their guidelines to schools.

With the number of cases rising in the past few weeks due to the Delta variant, CCBH is recommending that all county teachers, staff, students and visitors wear masks when indoors in a school setting, regardless of vaccination status.

"It is a best practice that can continue to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission and other respiratory infections," CCBH writes in its guidelines. County health officials believe exceptions should be made for those who cannot wear a mask because of a developmental delay or disability and for those who have severe asthma or other breathing problems. 

CCBH is also recommending that schools should implement physical distancing "to the greatest extent possible." This is because the majority of students in the school setting are currently unvaccinated, or are not eligible to be vaccinated at this time because they are under the age of 12.

Recently, Cuyahoga County and surrounding counties moved up to the "substantial" spread category, as determined by the CDC. That triggered a recommendation that everyone, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, wear masks while indoors. It is not a mandate, only a recommendation. 

Cuyahoga County and the state do not have mask mandates in effect at this time. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently said he would not enact a new mask mandate, indicating that vaccinating against the virus was the reason behind that decision. He also recently said he will not put one into effect for schools, leaving it up to individual districts to come up with their own plans of action.

You can read the CCBH guidelines for schools below:

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player below is from a previous story about COVID-19.

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