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Canfield board OKs ‘Mask to Stay, Test to Play’ policy

CANFIELD — The Canfield Board of Education voted 4-1 to accept the ‘Mask to Stay, Test to Play’ guidelines released by the Ohio Department of Health on Monday. The new recommendations were geared toward keeping kids in school.

“These recommendations deal with quarantines,” Superintendent Joseph Knoll said.

He explained the new guidelines allow parents to choose quarantine at home for 10 days, or in school if they are vaccinated and wearing a mask and had close contact in school.

If the close contact were at home, the new guidelines recommend keeping the student at home for 10 days.

“On Sept. 22, our district had 117 quarantines, of which 71 were in K-6 grades,” Knoll said.

He said it has since dropped to a total of 19 quarantines, of which seven were in the K-6 grades.

“The data has been looking good,” he told board members. “Our schools are safe. Cases are coming from outside the school setting. We aren’t seeing a lot of classroom spread. It is mostly coming from contact at home.”

The new recommendations also cover athletics. If a student had close contact with COVID-19 and plays sports, it is recommended they wear a mask whenever possible and get tested on day one, five and seven. If those tests are negative, the student can stop wearing a mask and is considered out of quarantine.

Board President Traci DeCapua said the meeting was just to hear and consider the recent recommendations. Knoll told her they are just recommendations and the board can choose to accept or reject them.

After a brief discussion, DeCapua called for a vote on the guidelines, which passed 4-1 with Jennifer Kluchar casting a no vote. The new guidelines will go into effect on Monday. No end date was mentioned.

“Even though I disagree with making masks optional, I will support what the majority of the board decided,” she said.

Knoll thanked the board for working together on the new recommendations. He said it helps make for smooth operations in tough times.

Voting for the new guidelines were DeCapua, David Wilkeson, Nader Atway and Matt Campbell.

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