Masks Optional Outdoors for Students (Beginning Monday)

Masks Optional Outdoors for Students (Beginning Monday)
Posted on 05/19/2021

Beginning Monday, 5/24
Masks Optional Outdoors for Students


Dear CPS families and Staff- 

We know there are lots of questions about current rules regarding mask-wearing in CPS. To align with updated state guidelines, the Cambridge Public Health Department and CPS will make the following changes to our mask policies. 

As of Monday, May 24:

  • Masks Optional for Students When Outdoors: Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, including during recess, lunch, physical education, outdoor learning, and sports. Students can continue to wear masks outside. Adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if they cannot maintain 3 feet distance. 
  • Masks Required Inside Schools: All adults and students must continue to wear masks inside school buildings. (no change)
  • Masks Required on School Buses: All adults and students must continue to wear masks when riding school buses. (no change)

The Cambridge Public Health Department and CPS will monitor implementation of these policies and make adjustments as needed to keep our community healthy and safe. 
 
Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.

Sincerely,
Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent 


FAQs
 
Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Frequently Asked Questions

 
1. Do students have to wear masks while outdoors?
On May 17th, 2021, after consultation with the MA COVID Command Center’s Medical Advisory Board, the Governor announced that given the low rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19, students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained. Effective May 18, this guidance update applies to recess, physical education, youth sports, and outdoor learning environments. Adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained. At this time, adults and students must continue to wear masks indoors.

 
2. Are students allowed to share objects (classroom materials or art supplies?)
On May 17th, 2021, after consultation with the MA COVID Command Center’s Medical Advisory Board, the Governor announced that given the low likelihood of surface transmission of COVID-19, schools no longer have to avoid sharing objects. This includes classroom materials, items for physical education, or art supplies. Shared objects no longer have to be cleaned or disinfected between use and should follow the updated cleaning guidance outlined below.

 
3. How frequently do schools have to clean spaces or surfaces?
Based on CDC guidance and updated information on the low likelihood of surface transmission, schools now only need to clean high touch surfaces (door handles, bus seats, drinking fountains) and shared objects within the school and on school transport vehicles once a day, excluding certain circumstances. 1 If schools are located in an area of high transmission of COVID-19, then they may consider cleaning more frequently, or cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects once a day. Similarly, for areas where masks are not worn (i.e., lunch areas), schools may consider cleaning surfaces between use. If a surface or object is visibly soiled, it should be immediately cleaned. If someone in the school in the past 24 hours has confirmed to have COVID-19, the spaces (i.e., classroom, bus and lunch area) they were in should be cleaned and disinfected. If disinfecting, ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning products, including storing products securely away from children.

 
4. Will the gathering limits for school events with outside participants change this spring?
In alignment with state guidance, the gathering limits for school events with outside participants will be lifted starting May 29, 2021. The other health and safety measures, such as masking, distancing, and other protocols, outlined in DESE’s Supplemental Guidance for Student Groups and School Events for School Year 2020-2021 will still apply.

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