Schuylkill Haven Area School District announced Monday afternoon that it’s reinstituting its face mask mandate for students, teachers, and staff inside school buildings.
In a letter to parents on Monday, the school district says it has to quarantine 30 students after a single positive COVID case was detected. The school doesn’t indicate if the positive test is from a student, teacher, or member of its staff.
It says that a number of students had to start the school term last week in quarantine due to several positive COVID cases.
Schuylkill Haven says that “only a few students” would have to quarantine if more were wearing a face mask indoors and identified as a close contact of positive case.
The school says the “temporary” face mask mandate goes into effect on Aug. 31 and is for during school hours, 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. It applies to students, teachers and staff, as well as visitors to Schuylkill Haven school buildings during those times.
The decision to reinstitute the face mask mandate was made by the school’s Pandemic Team.
“We recognize that this is not a popular decision and hope we can return to optional when the local numbers begin to decline again. Our pandemic team will continuously monitor the situation,” the letter sent to parents reads.
Schuylkill Haven joins North Schuylkill in bringing back a face mask mandate in just the first week of the 2021-22 term after learning of positive COVID cases that led to the quarantine of numerous students.
Each school says that Pennsylvania Dept. of Education and Dept. of Health quarantine guidelines would have less students being kept home had they been wearing face masks.
Other Schuylkill County schools – such as Tamaqua Area and Blue Mountain – have recently reported positive COVID cases among students and staff, as well as necessary quarantines of students, but have not implemented a renewed mask mandate like Schuylkill Haven and North Schuylkill.