Leonardtown, MD- The St. Mary’s County Schools Superintendent, J. Scott Smith announced today that St. Mary’s County Public Schools(SMCPS) will continue its mask mandate for all students and faculty at its facilities for at least the next 2 weeks.
On July 29, 2021, Superintendent Smith announced that between August 2 and for the following 2 weeks, anyone entering SMCPS facilities would be required to wear a mask. Superintendent Smith said the system will continue to monitor the health metrics and update any guidance pertaining to the 2021-2022 school year.
In the email sent to SMCPS parents and staff on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 11, 2021, Smith said SMCPS will make bi-weekly decisions using two weeks of community health data, as posted on the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) Local COVID-19 Data dashboard website. SMCPS will follow the CDC Indicators and Thresholds for Community Transmission of COVID-19 to determine the SMCPS Indoor Masking Requirement.
- When community transmission is high, masks are required for all individuals, regardless ofvaccination status.
- When community transmission is substantial, masks are required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
- When community transmission is low or moderate, masks are recommended for individuals who are not fullyvaccinated
Data for the previous two weeks will be reviewed and announced for protocols that will be in place for the following two weeks. Beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, Face coverings/masks are required indoors at all SMCPS buildings. If the current level of community transmission remains high, we will begin the school year with an indoor mask requirement for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
Masking requirements apply to all SMCPS indoor settings. State and federal guidance require that masks are required on all school buses, regardless of vaccination status. For outdoor activities, masking is not required but those not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to do so. SMCPS will allow the following exceptions when facemasks may be removed indoors:
- When actively eating or drinking.
- When presenting to a group, and the group is masked.
- When actively engaged in a sporting or athletic event (e.g., on the court); however,masks would be worn when not actively participating.
- When on stage for a performance, and during the performance itself; however, masks would be worn when not actively participating (e.g., masks would be worn backstage or off stage).