On Friday, the New York State Department of Health released a letter that Commissioner Howard Zucker penned to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The letter notes that an executive order requiring that students wear masks indoor schools is scheduled to be lifted next week
According to the letter, effective Monday, June 7, 2021, and as a minimum statewide guidance, schools do not have to make vaccinated or unvaccinated students wear face masks while indoors, though it is “strongly encouraged” for those who have not completed their vaccinations for COVID-19.
Lima Christian’s policy has been that “health permitting, all school personnel and on-campus students will be required to wear face masks when social distancing cannot be maintained and in common areas. School personnel and students will not be required to wear a face mask when appropriate social distancing can be maintained during instructional times.” Our school has maintained 6’ of social distancing between desks so that students have not been required to wear face masks while in instructional time.
However, in accordance with the state’s newest guidance, effective Monday, June 7, 2021, Lima Christian School will no longer require mask wearing on school grounds, whether indoors or outdoors. Be advised that students who arrive via busing may still be required to wear a face mask on district buses. Decisions regarding the wearing of face masks may vary by district.
Mask wearing recommendations for kids are “a moving target,” said Dr. Sharon Nachman, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Medicine. “Now that kids 12 and up can be vaccinated, it’s important to recognize that these are going to be mixed groups,” she said. “Some kids are vaccinated, and then there’s those who can’t be. There’s no reason to mask-shame anyone. There are reasons why some parents have made a family decision to have their children wear a mask.”
Lima Christian is notifying our faculty, staff, students, and their families now in hopes that each family can have a conversation regarding their decision whether or not to mask on school grounds before Monday.
Thank you for working with us through the challenges and the blessings of holding five-day, full-day, in-person instruction throughout this pandemic academic year.
On Behalf of the Board,
Jason J. McGuire