Mask Optional Update (3-2-22)
As stated in our previous email from February 17th, Oak Hill Academy will be following Governor Murphy’s announcement that beginning on Monday, March 7, 2022, the mandatory mask mandate for schools would be lifted. Based on the Governor’s decision and the sharply declining number of COVID-19 cases in our area, we will move to a mask optional environment on Monday, March 7, 2022.
The NJ Department of Health and NJ Department of Education are pleased that New Jersey is moving into a more positive direction in terms of COVID-19. The metric that they now consider is the CALI Index (COVID-19 Activity Level Index). This measure is currently at Low or Moderate for all counties in NJ
(https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/) . This has made the new Mask Optional Policy possible. The NJDOH recommend that schools continue with their other mitigation measures such as distancing, increased ventilation, hand sanitizing, and thorough cleaning. Most importantly, they stress that students or staff who feel ill should stay home.
As of last week, the CDC has moved to a measure of COVID-19 Community Indicators that focuses on new hospital admissions with confirmed cases and the percent of inpatient beds occupied. The CDC has also eased their requirement for the wearing of masks on school buses, however, during any Oak Hill Academy class trip or athletic trip, masks will be required on these buses due to the close proximity.
It is important to note that the CDC has not changed its recommendations regarding isolation (for positive COVID-19) or quarantine (for close contact to positive COVID-19). Please see the attached charts which explain the isolation or quarantine protocols that we will continue to follow. Please note that when returning to school on Day 6 from isolation because of a positive COVID-19 or quarantining from a close contact, students/staff will still be required to wear a mask from Days 6-10.
All of our safety protocols have brought us to this point and we take this as a very positive sign as we move toward a greater sense of normalcy. However, if circumstances change, we reserve the right to amend this protocol. Also, we ask everyone to respect each individual’s decision to either continue wearing the mask or removing it on March 7th.We thank everyone for their support and cooperation over the last two years and in the future.