Superintendent's Letter: Health and Safety Plan Update 2/25/22
Dear Hampton School Community:
To follow up on my comments at the Board meeting on February 14, 2022, I wanted to update the school community on the District’s plans to revise our Health and Safety Plan.
The decision to propose revisions to our Health and Safety Plan stems from several factors. Last week, I shared the very positive news from the Allegheny County Health Department that Omicron rates are falling more quickly than had been anticipated. Additionally, we have seen a dramatic reduction in positive covid cases in all our schools over the past three weeks. Finally, Allegheny County residents, including our students, have actively participated in vaccination programs providing additional protection throughout our school community.
As you might also have heard, this afternoon the CDC has changed its masking guidelines to significantly reduce the circumstances under which the public would be advised to mask indoors. Under these new guidelines and based on current Allegheny County data, Allegheny County would no longer be subject to a recommendation of universal masking indoors.
Taking all of the factors into consideration, and in consultation with the ACHD we believe it is appropriate to make a timely revision to our Health and Safety Plan. Therefore, we will be conducting a special Board meeting on Monday, February 28, 2022. At this previously advertised special meeting, the following changes to the Health and Safety Plan will be recommended for approval:
- That the District implement a district-wide optional masking policy that will begin on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
- That the District modify (or plan to modify) its approach to Covid-19 related requirements for isolation, quarantining, and contact tracing that aligns with optional masking, the new CDC guidelines, and our consultations with ACHD.
Please be aware that it is our understanding that the federal requirement for universal masking on public transportation, including school transportation, remains in effect at this time. Therefore, masks will still be required on school buses.
I sincerely thank you for your cooperation and patience this school year as we have all worked together towards safely maintaining full in-person instruction for our students.
Dr. Michael R. Loughead
Superintendent of Schools
Hampton Township School District