(GDN) — A stricter masking protocol is implemented across Wayne County Public Schools as the omicron variant continues to surge across the state.
Ken Derksen, WCPS Executive Director for Community Engagement and Student & Family Support, told the Wayne County Board of Education on Monday the district’s staff continues to work hard, but the easily-spread omicron COVID-19 variant is making the situation difficult. Derksen noted there had already been a jump in cases in the last week as students returned from the holidays.
School board member Craig Foucht made the motion to make masking mandatory on a school-by-school basis based upon exclusion rates. If a school reaches or exceeds 8% exclusion rate amongst students and staff, masks will then be required inside that school for at least two weeks (ten school days). Masks would become optional again once the school’s exclusion rate dropped below 8% after that two week period. Masks would remain optional if a school has an exclusion rate below 8%.
The new masking rules were approved on a 4-2 vote on Monday.
WCPS will examine each school’s exclusion rates starting on Tuesday, January 11, and will start taking necessary action on Wednesday, January 12.