Schools Chief Shares Covid Mitigation Guidance after Masks Become Optional on March 1

On Wednesday night the Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind the mask policy in Greenwich Schools, effective March 1.

Cases on the district’s Covid tracker have plummeted. The number of Covid-positive patients at Greenwich Hospital fell to just 4 this week.

School district vaccination rates are high, except for the youngest students. Per superintendent Dr. Toni Jones, 97% of staff are fully vaccinated; 95% of students 12-17 are fully vaccinated, and 49% students 5-11 are fully vaccinated, with 10% of students in the process of becoming fully vaccinated.

“We feel like we have a lot of positive indicators to move in this direction,” Jones said. “It’s a great step forward, and we’re very hopeful for the rest of the year.”

After the meeting, Jones emailed families with some details on Covid mitigation, though it is anticipated guidance from the state and federal government will evolve.

Greenwich Schools are on break this week, so there will be of classes before the mandate is lifted on March 1.

Joens said that on March 1, N95 masks will continue to be available to any staff member who requests one. They will be available for students in middle school to high school sizes and in Pre-K through Grade 5, students receive disposable masks with a shield, upon request to the school nurse. Jones noted health guidance supports that N95 masks offer a strong level of protection.

“Staff will not be asked to regulate mask wearing during school hours,” Jones wrote, adding, “Families are encouraged to speak with their children and to make them aware of the choices you have made for your family.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, several board members noted that with some students wearing masks, and others not wearing them, it would be important to pay attention to the bullying policy and how students are treating each other.

Asked about the use of for plexiglass shields, Dr. Jones said some staff do feel safer with them.

Also, on March 1, the district Covid tracker will continue to be updated twice a week.

Covid self-test kits will be available for staff and students who are symptomatic or experience a close contact.

Jones said existing quarantine requirements will likely remain in place, per guidance from the local Dept of Health and healthcare team, and may require short-term mask requirements.

While the board voted to end the mask policy, masks are still required on school buses, per the CDC.

High school sports will continue to operate under the most current rules set by the CIAC.

For those who would like to extend mask wearing after returning to school from vacation, a time when cases have spiked in the past, March 4 will be the 10th day following February break.

See also:

Greenwich BOE Votes Unanimously to Rescind Face Mask Policy in Schools, Effective March 1, 2022

Greenwich Hospital Reports Steady Fall in Covid-19 Cases