PARMA, Ohio — Beginning Monday, schools within the Parma City School District will not require masks to be worn inside buildings.
After a significant increase of COVID-19 cases and quarantines in September, Parma City School District opted to mandate masks.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Cuyahoga Board of Health gave the Parma City School District guidance on the new lifted mask mandate.
Students who come into contact with positive cases will be allowed to stay in school even if they were not wearing a mask at the time of contact.
The decision was made shortly after the recent announcement that children ages 5-11 are eligible for vaccines.
“This guidance, combined with our own data and the fact that children ages 5-11 are now eligible for vaccinations, helps us to feel confident in suspending our mask mandate,” said Parma City School District Officials in a news release on Nov. 5. “Students and staff are welcome to continue to wear masks, but, as of this Monday, November 8, they are not mandatory.”
Regardless of vaccination and mask status, the following procedures will be in place for students:
Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID: stay home; parents should contact a physician and follow their advice.
Students who test positive: quarantine at home for 10 days.
Students exposed to a positive COVID case outside of school: quarantine at home for 10 days or obtain a negative test five to seven days after exposure and return after the seventh day of quarantine.
Close contacts of students who are exposed in school to a positive case: We will inform close contacts via automated phone call that we expect them to wear a mask for 14 days from the time of exposure. Students may shorten this period to seven days if they can provide proof of a negative test administered five days after exposure.
For athletes exposed in their sport, the school will follow these procedures:
- Continue to participate unless symptoms develop.
- Wear a mask as able (on sideline, in locker room, etc.).
- Test upon notification of a close contact, then again on days 5-7 after the contact.
The news release noted that students who take the bus to school will still be expected to always wear their masks on the bus.