We pray for a safe and blessed New Year for all of you, and thank you for the efforts you have made to keep our schools safe. Even in the midst of a pandemic, there are hints of promise for 2021.
In order to keep our students and teachers safe and to be able to provide in person classes as much as possible, the Office of Catholic Schools and each school continues to monitor the information and gather data from health officials as they evolve.
You may have heard that on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, Governor DeWine released new guidance to Ohio school districts regarding the current accepted practice for student quarantine. This is a very limited change to the guidance.
If a student or teacher is exposed in a supervised classroom setting to someone with COVID-19, quarantine is not recommended for the exposed individual as long as masking and other appropriate protocols are followed. It does not apply to contact in settings outside the classroom, including after school activities and athletics.
The guidance was altered after a comprehensive review of statewide data, including a study conducted by Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation Team. For more information: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-
As we have tracked the cases of COVID-19 among our students and staff in the Diocese of Youngstown, our experience is consistent with the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation: Spread has rarely happened among students exposed to an infected student or staff member in the classroom setting who was then quarantined as a result. There have been cases of spread in sports team settings as well as from contacts outside the school.
As has been our practice all year, schools will continue to consult with and follow the advice of their local health
departments and continue to inform parents of any positive cases of COVID-19. If a student is required to quarantine, the parents will be individually contacted. Our schools will continue all of the safety protocols currently in place.
Please pray for our school leaders and teachers who are working tirelessly to provide a safe and productive learning environment for your children amidst the many new challenges caused by the pandemic. With all of us working patiently together, we will get through this with valuable lessons learned for the future.
Please also join with the whole Diocese in praying for Bishop-elect David Bonnar who will become the 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown on January 12, 2021.
Superintendent of Schools