Norwalk schools lift COVID mask mandate for outdoor activities



NORWALK – Students and staff at the city’s public schools are no longer required to wear masks outside, and vaccinated visitors are now welcome inside buildings, officials said.

In a statement, Norwalk Public Schools said the new masking policy began on Monday.

The change in mask requirements was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state’s Department of Public Health on the coronavirus pandemic, the statement said. The change in the masking requirement came about a week after the CDC updated its face covering recommendations to allow fully vaccinated people to go maskless almost anywhere.

Outdoors, face coverings are no longer needed except for close contact when stationary, such as sitting in a group or standing in a line, the statement said.

However, masks will still be required indoors, NPS spokeswoman Brenda Wilcox Williams said.

When students are actively moving outdoors, such as recess or gym class, masks are no longer required, however, masks are still required to enter and exit the building for outdoor activities, according to the release. .

“We are delighted that so many people in our region have been vaccinated and that the rate of COVID has dropped significantly as a result, making it overall safer for those who are not eligible for the vaccine,” said Wilcox Williams.

Hand hygiene will always be emphasized before and after outdoor activities, officials said.

Vaccinated visitors are again allowed to enter schools, the statement said.

“Visitors who provide support or engage in official business at a school will now be permitted at a school, provided they provide documentation proving that they are fully immunized,” the statement said. “Parent volunteers will also be allowed in schools, provided they provide proof that they have been fully immunized. “

More than 700 COVID vaccines have been administered at clinics hosted by public schools in the city over the past month, a district spokesperson said on Wednesday.

More than 500 students at Norwalk public schools were vaccinated against COVID-19 last week at clinics held at colleges.

A total of 448 students aged 12 and older have been vaccinated at Norwalk Community Health Center clinics in middle schools, previously said Norwalk CHC spokesperson Betty Cordellos.

“As we come out of the pandemic, the latest public health guidelines have evolved and the updated Norwalk Public School mask policies reflect this most recent information,” said Mayor Harry Rilling. “We have always followed science to keep our community safe, and we will continue to adjust our policies and protocols based on the local health situation and the latest information available.”

Changing mask requirements and increasing vaccinations are also impacting the 2021 high school graduation ceremonies.

Following COVID precautions, the district had initially scheduled two graduation ceremonies in each high school, separating the graduating classes. With the relaxation of many COVID restrictions, the NPS will now hold a ceremony at every school, the statement said.

“We are pleased to announce a change in graduation ceremonies made possible by high local vaccination rates and a drop in COVID cases,” the statement said.

Norwalk High School and P-TECH graduation ceremonies will take place at 5 p.m. on June 17 and Brien McMahon High School will celebrate its graduation ceremony at 5 p.m. on June 18, according to the updated policy statement.

The Center for Global Studies graduation ceremony will still take place at 6 p.m. on June 11.

“Due to the large number of graduate students, we don’t have the option of having a tent that is large enough in bad weather,” said Wilcox Williams. “Unless the forecast calls for severe weather, we expect it to rain or shine. “

The limit of two guests per student will remain in place, the statement said.

Plans are still being made for the district’s masking and COVID precautions in September, Wilcox Williams said.

“We are working on our plans for the summer and next fall, and will keep in mind any additional guidance from the CDC and CSDE, as well as working with our own health department in Norwalk,” said Wilcox Williams. . “We will continue to monitor all mitigation measures to help our students of all ages and staff stay healthy, including indoor masks.”

[email protected]



Comments are closed.