The State Department of Education and Department of Public Health recently clarified that updated masking protocols from the CDC and State of Connecticut do not change masking requirements within public schools. The Departments are also offering guidance on summer school, camping programs, and end-of-year activities in schools.
Updated Mask Order
Even though the CDC and the State of Connecticut have stated that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks, schools are not included in that guidance. DPH is requiring that there be continued universal mask use inside public and private school buildings.
All summer school, summer enrichment, and camping programs must also continue to operate within state and federal law. In all settings, mitigation strategies must continue to be employed, including universal indoor mask wearing, cohorting/limiting movement, ventilation, cleaning/disinfection, symptom-based exclusion and quarantine, and other strategies. At this time, SDE and DPH continue to require universal masking in all indoor educational venues.
In outdoor settings, masks are not required, but they are recommended for students and staff in situations where they are outdoors and in close contact while stationary. Where students are actively moving around during recess or physical education activities, masks can be removed. Masks should also be on when going out of the building to recess and back into the building afterward. Good hand hygiene should be emphasized before and after outdoor activities.
School District Events and End-of-Year Activities
As school districts plan graduations, proms, and other end-of-year activities, the SDE and DPH have released a new guidance document that provides recommendations for use when planning end-of-year events that are held outdoors. If schools choose to change their original operational plans for events, and especially if mitigation strategies that were planned as requirements will now be made optional, the SDE and DPH strongly recommend communicating to all participants what to expect if they choose to attend, as some may continue to anticipate that all mitigation strategies will be employed, even outdoors.
Districts planning indoor events either inside the school building or at another indoor venue should continue to incorporate the layered mitigation strategies that
have been incorporated throughout the school year.
See the following documents for more information: