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Ottawa Hills Schools will continue to require masks for now

Mask-To-Stay guidelines will allow students exposed to COVID to avoid quarantine
The superintendent of Ottawa Hills Schools says despite new recommendations from the state, the...
The superintendent of Ottawa Hills Schools says despite new recommendations from the state, the district will continue its mask policy for students and staff.(Tony Geftos)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:16 AM EDT
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OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s called Mask-To-Stay, a new recommendation from the Ohio Department of Health that states if any student has direct exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 either during the school day or at a school-related activity, that student can still come to class in person while wearing a mask.

At Ottawa Hills Schools, Superintendent Dr. Adam Fineske says all students and staff members are still wearing masks and that’s not going to change any time soon.

“Right now, based on our data in our school district, which is how I make my decisions, I think it’s smart for us to stay the course. We’ve had an uptick in some positive cases here in Ottawa Hills, and I want to make sure that our students and staff are as safe as possible,” says Dr. Fineske.

Districts across the area, such as Perrysburg, Sylvania, Maumee, and Anthony Wayne, have adjusted their mask protocols based upon the new ODH guidance.

What will change under these revised guidelines are the quarantine rules across the state of Ohio. As long as a student self-monitors and has no symptoms, that student can keep coming to school instead of going remote.

The state department of health recommends if a student tests negative 5-7 days after exposure or is still not showing symptoms by day 8 even without a test, that student can the remove the mask.

In Ottawa Hills, Dr. Fineske says the guideline will basically allow all students to keep coming to class.

“Meaning, if a kid has to be quarantined, they no longer have to stay home. They just have to be in a mask, which they are anyway here. So, it doesn’t really change anything for us. What’s positive is that I don’t have to send them home for 10 days. They can actually stay here, if they’re wearing their masks, which, we’re all wearing masks. So, it just seems to really make sense to not change anything,” explains Dr. Fineske.

He adds the school board will continue to monitor state recommendations and case count, and could potentially make a decision to lift the mask mandate in the district sometime in the future.

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