Johnson County wellness officers endorse necessitating indoor masks at general public universities this slide

The Shawnee Mission University District is the only substantial district in Johnson County nevertheless to challenge a official coverage on mask usage for the 2021-22 faculty yr. Other massive Johnson County districts have made a decision to make masks optional — a go that puts them at odds with a new advice from JCDHE. File picture credit history Emma Kate Squire.

The Johnson County Office of Health and fitness and Natural environment on Friday issued a new set of tips aimed at stopping the distribute of COVID-19 in universities — tips that might place faculty boards at odds with community wellness officers.

In a letter despatched to the superintendents and school boards of Johnson County’s 6 public college districts, JCDHE Director Sanmi Areola, PhD and Community Overall health Officer Joseph LeMaster, MD, wrote that JCDHE “recommends that university boards implement a coverage that requires indoor mask carrying among the folks who are not thoroughly vaccinated.”

The letter also urges school districts to “strongly advertise vaccination amongst your suitable pupils, school and staff members.”

Why it issues: The college boards of the USD 232 (De Soto), Blue Valley and Olathe School Districts have all adopted policies in modern weeks that will make encounter masks optional for students this slide.

The Shawnee Mission School District is the only important district in the county however to formalize a policy on mask sporting for the 2021-22 faculty calendar year.

JCDHE’s suggestion letter to college arrived the same day that the consortium of 11 general public wellness offices in the Kansas City metro space issued a new advisory recommending that unvaccinated individuals dress in masks indoors. That suggestion arrived in response to lagging vaccine premiums and a sharp upward pattern in new COVID-19 cases — albeit at amounts considerably beneath the peak of the pandemic late final 12 months.

“Substantial dangers continue being to individuals who are not entirely vaccinated, like children underneath age 12 a long time for whom there is no presently licensed vaccine,” Areola and LeMaster wrote in the letter to superintendents. “The very transmissible Delta variant is now the dominant strain in Johnson County, resulting in an maximize in new scenarios and numerous outbreaks connected with summer season camps and college-age packages.”

What will come following: The Shawnee Mission Board of Instruction following satisfies at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 26 and has just one far more meeting following that — on Aug. 9 — just before the new faculty calendar year commences.

JCDHE’s letter to faculty officials is embedded under: