Masks at School Update
September 29, 2020
Dear Mease Parents/Guardians,
Today we received an update from the Humboldt County Health Department regarding the use of masks at school. If a student is wearing a mask, they will not have to quarantine if they are within 6 feet of a student that tests positive. Face shields are not included in the same category as masks. This update applies to the school setting only. You will still need to consult with the department of public health regarding exposure outside of the school setting.
As a result of this update, we have been advised to make a few changes to our mitigation procedures. Masks will now be required by students when they are at their desks. Teachers will be encouraged to give students frequent breaks from their masks. The breaks will need to remain under 15 minutes. Masks will still not be required at recess, lunch, or PE. At Mease, we have learned that cloth masks that fit well work best. Because our students are small, neck gaiters do not work well and we are asking that you do not send those as a face covering. We have plenty of cloth masks that we can give to any students that don't have a well fitting mask that covers both the mouth and nose. While this news is a great boost to contact tracing and student quarantining, we will still continue the rest of our mitigation efforts - hand washing, social distancing, disinfecting, etc.
While wearing masks at desks may seem like a big ask of kids, many Mease students have already been wearing their masks all day. This change in policy will tremendously reduce the chance that your child will have to quarantine for two weeks as a result of exposure in school as well. We have worked with families and students that have extenuating circumstances with health concerns for their child, and we will continue to do so. Please let me know if you have any questions!