Dear Families and Students,
COVID has presented its challenges to our community since March of 2020. While the virus has evolved so has our understanding of the impact it has on our schools and the learning environment for our staff and students. We have provided multiple opportunities with the support of our local health department to offer vaccine clinics to those who opted to participate including students ages 5-18. We feel our efforts have supported not only the schools but our community at large.
As with any health concern, over time many lessons are learned including how to best protect our staff and students while keeping the learning environment open. We have been using the WVDHHR map to guide decisions learning once again it is flawed. The map is not an exact science and we are moving away from using it to guide masking decisions. Based on lessons learned a change in recommendation has been made by the Taylor County Board of Education tonight. We understand everyone will not be happy with the outcome as we have learned throughout this pandemic but want everyone to understand if a correction needs made it will once again be made for the safety of our staff and students.
Beginning tomorrow, December 8, 2021 Taylor County Schools will remove the mask requirement immediately going to a parent choice. Staff and students who are positive, showing symptoms or quarantined by the Taylor County Health Department will stay home. In addition, if 5% of any school staff and students are positive, that school and that school only would be required to wear masks for 10 school days. To determine the schools required to mask we would look at the percent positive for the last five days. This would allow those positive to recover and stop the spread in that school setting. The mask requirement would remain in effect on transportation as required by the CDC.
Please note that current quarantines and dates for testing and return will remain in effect. Further, please be reminded of the symptoms that would warrant keeping a staff or student member at home. These include but are not limited to fever or chills, headache, body ache, sore throat, cough, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, diarrhea and nausea or vomiting. We ask that parents not send any student to school with a fever or give fever reducing medicine to a student and send them possibly infecting others. Please use the testing available at our local health department from 11:00-1:00 daily and notify your child's school if they are positive.
Christy Miller, Superintendent