“It is strongly recommended that schools implement masking.”

Loveland, Ohio – When asked, this morning to provide Loveland Magazine with the current Board of Health guidance for covid 19 protocol for K-12 schools “Mike Samet, the Public Information Officer for Hamilton County Public Health responded, “We are following the Ohio Dept. of Health guidelines (attached) until we develop our own, if necessary.”

The current Loveland school protocol reads in part, “…the Board will follow any mandates set forth by the Ohio Governor, Ohio State Health Department, Hamilton County Health Department, and Ohio Department of Education, (“Directing Entities”) as it relates to protecting the health of students, staff and visitors.”

There will be no remote learning opportunities (Remote Academy) for Loveland teachers or students as all school buildings will return to full capacity in-person classes in August.

Samet referred Loveland Magazine to the Ohio Dept. of Health (ODH) guidelines which are currently Hamilton County Health Department’s as well.

The ODH guidelines begin with this opening introduction:

As schools get ready for the 2021-22 academic year, the ongoing health and safety of students, staff, and volunteers remains paramount. While great strides have been made in controlling the spread of COVID-19, the virus remains a health threat. 

Although children are less likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with adults, they are at risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, getting sick from COVID-19, spreading the virus to others, and having severe health outcomes. 

Because children 11 and younger cannot be vaccinated and less than a third of children 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, it is strongly recommended that schools implement masking for students layered with other prevention strategies to protect people who are not fully vaccinated. 

The Delta variant is rapidly becoming dominant in Ohio. It is highly transmissible, increasing risk, especially for those who are unvaccinated. Because the Delta variant spreads so quickly, these strategies to reduce transmission in school are critically important to protect students, teachers, staff, and communities.

As students head back to school, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) recommends following the same layered prevention strategies that were remarkably effective at controlling COVID-19 last school year: 

Strongly recommend vaccinations for staff and eligible students. Vaccines are our best tool to protect students and prevent the spread of the virus. 

Wearing masks. Masks have been proven to be extremely effective in slowing the spread of the virus. Ohio researchers conducted an evaluation last year that showed that masking helped control the spread of the virus in Ohio schools. ODH strongly recommends that those who are unvaccinated wear masks while in school. 

Additional measures including improving ventilation, maximizing distance between people, and practicing good hygiene, among others. 

Consistent implementation of these core prevention measures helped limit the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom during the 2020-21 academic year. Continuing to follow these recommendations will protect students as much as possible. 

Below is the full ODH document:

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