October 26, 2021
Dear Canton Local Community,
On Monday, October 25, the Ohio Department of Health released updated quarantine guidance titled "Mask to Stay, Test to Play." This new guidance indicates that staff and students who come into contact with a positive case of COVID-19, regardless of masking or vaccination status, may continue to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities with additional precautions.
Canton Local Schools mandated the wearing of face coverings to keep our students in school safely and provide them with as normal of a school experience as possible. The updated guidance from the Ohio Department of Health no longer requires a student to be wearing a mask or be vaccinated in order for them to remain at school or involved in extracurriculars. Therefore, effective tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27, wearing a face-covering in Canton Local School buildings will be recommended but not required.
***Please note, a face covering is still required by federal order for staff and students on school transportation. ***
Under the new guidance, a student or staff member who is exposed to COVID-19 and considered a close contact within the school or school-related setting can continue to attend school and/or participate in extracurriculars as long as they adhere to the following procedures:
***These guidelines do not apply to exposure outside of school or school-related events. Cases outside of school, including in the home, still fall under the previous guidelines.***
For School Attendance (Mask to Stay):
1. Wear a mask for 14 days after their last date of exposure.
2. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
3. Isolate and get tested if they start to experience symptoms associated with COVID-19.
*Students and staff members may test beginning on day 6 after exposure, and if negative, they may cease the above protocols on day 8 after exposure.
For Extracurricular Participation (Test to Play):
1. Participants must be asymptomatic.
2. Wear a mask for 14 days after their last date of exposure.
3. Test negative on initial notification of exposure to COVID-19.
4. Test again beginning day 6, if negative, they may cease the above protocols on day 8 after exposure.
Click here for a PDF version of the document released by the Ohio Department of Health.
I know that anything dealing with masks or COVID can be a very sensitive subject. While some people may be excited about this switch in policy, we will have others in our school and community who are nervous about this change. Please know that we will continue to monitor the spread of COVID in our school and community and monitor the numbers in our local hospitals. We will continue to work with our local health departments to make sure that we are following the recommendations and guidelines of the health professionals. Our goal has been to keep our students and staff in school safely, and we believe that we can do that by following the new guidance from the Ohio Department of Health.