Sunset, MCHS inching toward mask mandate for adults |

Sunset, MCHS inching toward mask mandate for adults

Moffat County High School is close to the positivity threshold that would require adult staff to wear masks in the building.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Craig Middle School staff will continue to wear masks this week, and two other schools in the district are close to doing the same, according to numbers from the Moffat County School District’s COVID-19 dashboard.

At CMS, 2.63% of the school’s population has tested positive for the coronavirus, and 4% are quarantined. This is the middle school’s second week under a mask mandate for adults. In recent weeks, MCSD decided to suspend contact tracing for students after an influx of quarantined cases kept a large number of students out of school. Now, parents receive notice if a child in a student’s class or building is tested positive and are asked to keep their children home if they develop symptoms.

Sunset Elementary is close to required masking for staff, with a positivity rate of 1.96%. At 2% staff and adults are required to wear masks, and students are required at 3%, according to the district’s reopening plan. However, 5.3% of Sunset Elementary is currently sent home to quarantine. As of this week, no school at MCSD has reached that 3% positivity threshold during the fall 2021 school semester.

Moffat County High School is also inching toward that 2% threshold for adult masking. The high school’s positivity rate is at 1.94%, and 2.9% has been quarantined. The other elementary schools and the alternative high school in the district have very low positivity rates, each sitting below 1%.

However, quarantine levels at maskless elementary schools are consistent — with Ridgeview, Sandrock and ECC having 1.9%, 3.5% and 3.9%, respectively.

Quarantine levels in the district are also affecting current staffing for paraprofessionals and other roles. In a letter sent to MCSD parents, administrators have found that national school shortages paired with COVID-19 quarantines have contributed to major adjustments to day-to-day management of MCSD. Currently, the school district is asking for community members to step up into these roles, while current staff have been taking over responsibilities that they would not usually do. Bus routes have been consolidated and administrators have taken over some bus driver duties and work in the cafeterias.

Moffat County commissioners, who are the county’s board of health, met with the school district and county health department Monday to discuss policies going forward. According to commissioner Melody Villard, the meeting ended in support of continuing the plan the district has in place.

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