On Wednesday, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) issued new mask guidance for camps and schools, that goes into effect on Monday, June 21, 2021. The MCOPH guidance says, "Effective June 21st, masking for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at summer camps and summer schools will be optional, unless required by a business or organization." Current CDC guidance says, "Mask use indoors is strongly encouraged for people who are not fully vaccinated, including children." CHOP's PolicyLab has stated, "If case incidence drops to very low levels in the community and the staff vaccination rate is high, then it would be very reasonable to consider relinquishing mask requirements."
In light of this guidance and the fact the LMSD has not recorded a positive case of COVID-19 in over three weeks, masks will be optional both indoors and outdoors for students and staff in summer programs starting Monday. LMSD continues to recommend mask use indoors for unvaccinated students and staff, but masks will not be mandatory. Summer program staff will make every effort to ensure that families' decisions regarding mask-wearing are respected.
This guidance is subject to revision throughout the summer programs and for the 2021-2022 school year.
During LMSD summer programs, staff will continue to maintain daily seating charts to assist with contact tracing. Social distancing will continue to be encouraged to the extent possible, with six-foot distancing for elementary students during meals. Higher risk activities – such as choir and drama – should be held outdoors or indoors with increased social distancing. Anyone who tests positive, or who has a positive individual in their household, is still asked to call the COVID Healthline at 610-645-1973 to report the exposure and receive information regarding testing and quarantine. The Healthline nurses are also available to answer COVID-19-related questions.
Finally, LMSD Health Services needs your help. To simplify the contact-tracing and notification process, we are asking parents/guardians of students who have been vaccinated outside of an LMSD clinic to send proof of vaccination (a photo of the vaccine card is fine) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, parents/guardians are not required to share this information; however, it is helpful for the COVID Nurses Team to know how many of our students have been immunized overall AND to avoid unnecessary contact tracing and quarantine calls. The vaccination information will be kept confidential by the nursing staff and will only be used for contact-tracing.