- Meridian Elementary
Face Masks Are Still Required In all KSD Buildings
In schools, teachers, visitors, volunteers, and students are required to wear face coverings consistent with the Governor’s Proclamation 20-09.2 Phased Reopening of K-12 Schools, K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 School Year, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Reopening Washington Schools 2020 District Planning Guide. All students, school personnel, volunteers, and visitors must wear cloth face coverings or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask) at school when indoors, as well as when outdoors where a minimum of six feet distancing cannot be maintained. In some circumstances, staff may require a higher level of protection. Fully vaccinated people are also required to wear masks in schools; these guidelines apply to all district buildings in Kent School District.
With most of Washington state’s COVID-19 restrictions ending by June 30, communities across King County are making preparations. The State of Washington is lifting restrictions because the current levels of COVID-19 are low enough overall – largely due to vaccination – that the risk of outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths has fallen dramatically. However, COVID-19 is still here, and more contagious variants are spreading locally in King County and nationally. Some of these newer variants are also more likely to lead to hospitalization if you are unvaccinated.
The new mask guidance is only for people who are fully vaccinated, meaning people who are at least two weeks past their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after their single Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The new guidance does not apply to unvaccinated people. When unvaccinated people gather, especially indoors, they are at risk of both getting COVID-19 as well as spreading it to others. People who haven’t been vaccinated must still wear masks in public, per the Secretary’s order.
Fully vaccinated people may continue to wear masks if they choose to show support for others who are wearing masks or if they want an extra layer of protection. However, not everyone has been vaccinated yet, including more than 300,000 children and some people with medical conditions, so everyone should continue to follow state masking guidelines and CDC travel guidelines.
Face masks are still required in health care settings like hospitals, long-term care, or doctor’s offices; correctional facilities, homeless shelters, or schools. Counties have the right to set their own rules regarding face coverings to respond to the level of transmission in the community. The federal order requiring masks on public transportation also still applies. Businesses still have the right to require masks in their establishments. Employees should continue to follow workplace guidance issued by the Department of Labor & Industries. And people who aren’t vaccinated are required to wear a mask, per the Secretary’s order.
Please visit the Department of Health website to learn more and read the Cloth Face Coverings and Masks FAQ. In addition, King County and Washington state will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination and infection rates, as well as review and reevaluate guidelines and restrictions if cases rise significantly and create a public health concern.
We will share updates and provide information as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and guidance changes.