DETROIT - Catholic schools in Detroit won't require masks or vaccinations among staff or students for the upcoming school year, but strongly recommends that eligible individuals get the COVID-19 vaccine and wear a face covering if they are more comfortable.
The schools also won't mandate any testing protocols and recommended any schools abide by their county health department's quarantine protocols in the event of a positive coronavirus infection during the school year.
However, schools that feel it's important to increase or add additional rules are permitted to do so.
Those parameters are part of the PreK-12 Health & Safety Guidance for the 2021-22 school year.
"Our primary goal is to ensure a safe and responsible approach to full in-person learning, while providing schools with the tools they need to navigate and appropriately prepare for the school year," read the guide.
Here is a breakdown of what else the rulebook states:
- Schools should continue to utilize the CDC Guidance for cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene
Social distancing and spacing
- Outdoor learning experiences and dining are encouraged whenever possible.
- The use of physical barriers, such as plexiglass shields, is no longer recommended, per the CDC.
- Teachers should maintain seating charts with assigned student seats as much as possible to assist with contact tracing when necessary.
- Physical distancing is not required but at least 3-6 feet between students is recommended for indoor activities in shared spaces.
- Students and staff may travel between classrooms.
- School visitors may enter the school building, but limits should still be considered and determined by each school. A log of all visitors is required. Logs should document the date, contact information, and arrival/departure times.
Screening students and staff
- Schools should continue to follow their county Health Department’s quarantine recommendations.
- It is recommended that three feet of distance is maintained between individuals during indoor dining.
- Non-liturgical group gatherings and extracurricular activities are allowed unless local health data changes and deem them unsafe.
- Field trips may resume.
- Off-site and overnight retreats are allowed with Archdiocese Of Detroit approval.
- Before/after school care programs must follow LARA guidelines and requirements.
- At this time, there are no COVID-19 related restrictions or requirements for athletics.
- Updated guidance from MHSAA, CHSL and CYO should be followed by all schools.
Busing and student transportation
- While the Archdiocese of Detroit is not requiring masks at school/school events, the use of facial coverings are required by federal order on school buses and other forms of public transportation in the United States.
- There are no capacity restrictions for school transportation for the 2021-2022 school year.
- It is recommended that household members sit together in the same seat when possible.
- It is recommended that schools continue to create distance between children on school buses.
- Bus personnel should continue to maintain seating charts with assigned student seats as much as possible to assist with case investigation and contact tracing when needed.
- Bus windows should be opened to improve ventilation when it does not create a safety hazard.