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School officials issue mask mandate for Berea-Midpark Middle School

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Sep 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-11 11:56:37-04

BEREA, Ohio — The Berea City School District announced Saturday that a mask mandate has been issued for Berea-Midpark Middle School due to the "current trajectory of rising cases and increased quarantines" at the school.

The mandate is effective immediately for all students, staff and visitors. The mandate will be reviewed on Oct. 1.

"Our focus continues to be on the health and safety practices that keep students and staff safe and for our schools to remain open for in-person learning," said Superintendent Tracy L. Wheeler.

Additionally, the district changed some of its quarantine procedures.

"Moving forward, based on updated information we have received from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, we are REQUIRED to exclude students from any in-school or extracurricular activities as part of the quarantine mandate per the Cuyahoga County Board of Health," Wheeler said. "Families will receive a notice of quarantine from the Board of Heath once the District has identified a student or staff as a close contact. The District would be in violation of Ohio Revised Code if we do not exclude someone who has been ordered to isolate or quarantine. The District will no longer strongly recommend a quarantine. The exclusion from school is REQUIRED."

The district's quarantine procedures are listed below:

Positive Test Cases: both Vaccinated & Unvaccinated. Mandated 10 days of Isolation that have passed since the first COVID-19 symptoms began (with at least 24-hours fever-free without taking medications); OR if the person has not had symptoms, 10 days since her/his test date.

  • Unvaccinated Primary Contact: (closer than 6 feet/15 minutes total without mask or closer than 3 feet/15 minutes total with or without mask) You must be excluded from school and school activities for the duration of the quarantine mandate as issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
    • 10-day option: Quarantine ends after 10 days from the last date of exposure if the person has no COVID-19 like symptoms.
    • 7-day option: Quarantine ends after 7 days from the last date of exposure, if the person has no symptoms and a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken at least 5 days after the last date of exposure. You must provide proof of a negative test upon return to school on the 8th day.
    • The CCBH quarantine letter that you will receive also includes a 14-day option.
    • IF POSITIVE, ISOLATE FOR 10 DAYS FROM DATE OF TEST OR ONSET OF SYMPTOMS.

  • Vaccinated Primary Contact: (No Exclusion with Proof of Vaccination - masked or unmasked)
    • Fully vaccinated and at least 2 weeks have passed since last vaccination.
    • MUST provide proof of vaccination to the main office.
    • No limitation to school or social activities if ASYMPTOMATIC.
    • Recommend test in 3-5 days after exposure. (Binax available to staff, students, and immediate families.)
    • Strongly recommend wearing a mask in public indoor spaces for 14 days or until a negative test is obtained.
    • If symptomatic, follow full or modified quarantine.
    • IF POSITIVE, ISOLATE FOR 10 DAYS FROM DATE OF TEST OR ONSET OF SYMPTOMS.

The best way NOT to be subjected to quarantine is to wear a mask or to be vaccinated for those students and staff who are 12 years or older.

"As always, we will continue to evaluate our health and safety protocols on an ongoing basis. I know the mask debate exists in our community. There will NOT be any type of mask mandate coming from either the Governor’s Office or the Ohio Department of Health. This has really put school leaders around the state in a position to act like health officials and make these decisions. We are educators and NOT medical professionals," Wheeler said. "I hope everyone can do their best to remain positive for our kids. The only way we will get through this is by working TOGETHER."

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