Saline Area Schools To Review Masking Policies Next Week

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Washtenaw COVID-19

The Saline Area Schools district will review its own plans for the masking of students and staff next week after the Washtenaw County Health Department announced Friday it was rescinding its school mask order at the end of February.

The county's last two COVID-19 health orders required masks in K-12 schools and also set solation and quarantine protocols.

It was an abrupt about-face from the health department and it's left the decision on masking and other COVID-19 protocols to local schools.

The Saline school district is now assessing its own COVID-19 protocols, Superintendent Steve Laatsch said Friday afternoon. In August, the district developed a plan that regulated masks using many metrics. That plan was superseded by the health department's order.   

"However, with this sudden change from the WCHD in dropping their mask mandate, District administration and local health officials from SAS are going to be reviewing this action early next week," Laatsch wrote in an email. "We will then report back to the SAS Community with our masking plan moving forward with an opportunity for community discussion available prior to any changes in this policy."

The district will continue following the health department order which is in effect until the end of the month. Masks will be mandatory when school resumes Monday, Feb. 14.

Masking on buses continues to be mandatory according to federal orders.

Here's the email Laatsch is sending this afternoon.

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COVID-19 WCHD (Washtenaw County Health Department) Mask Mandate

Saline Area Schools (SAS) is currently following the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) Mask Mandate. However, at 8 a.m. this morning, we were made aware that the WCHD will be sharing a press release announcing the rescinding of the mandatory mask order effective on February 28.

We understand the health department is making these changes based on local factors such as the significant decline in cases and a combination of high vaccination rates.

Prior to the WCHD mandate, back in August, 2021 when the school year started, SAS had developed a Covid-19 Return to Learn Plan that involved wearing masks in high and substantial transmission phases (click HERE to view the one slide that talks about indoor masking from this plan).

However, with this sudden change from the WCHD in dropping their mask mandate, District administration and local health officials from SAS are going to be reviewing this action early next week. We will then report back to the SAS Community with our masking plan moving forward with an opportunity for community discussion available prior to any changes in this policy.

Therefore, as mentioned in the section above, we will be requiring masks in school on Monday, February 14th and until further notice.

Please note that masks will continue to be required on buses, per federal requirements for transportation. SAS does not have any legal authority to consider changing the mask requirement on buses.

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