Several news developments have occurred with local school and government offices regarding mask requirements in recent days, and one school is switching to virtual learning for one week because of a high number of cases.
Wayne County is now in the state’s orange, or second-worst, advisory level for its number of COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rate.
Read more in-depth information about many of these decisions in the Aug. 25 edition of Western Wayne News.
Announced Monday afternoon (Aug. 23): Hagerstown Elementary School will have all adults and students wear masks beginning Tuesday, Aug. 24. Masks will be required for two weeks, when numbers will be re-evaluated.
Richmond Community Schools
Announced Monday afternoon (Aug. 23): Because of COVID-19 positivity rates, Dennis Middle School will be moving to eLearning starting Tuesday, Aug. 24. Extracurricular activities also will be canceled through Aug. 31. Students will return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
Announced Friday (Aug. 20): Northeastern Wayne Schools is requiring masks as of Monday, Aug. 23.
Superintendent Matthew Hicks said the district is implementing a mask mandate after consulting with the Wayne County Health Department because of an increase in the number of COVID positive cases and an even higher increase of students being sent home as a close contact of a COVID positive case.
Centerville-Abington announced a mask mandate beginning Aug. 17. Click to read our story from Aug. 16.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Announced Friday (Aug. 20): Wayne County Commissioners voted unanimously Friday to require masks in all Wayne County government-owned buildings, including the buildings at the fairgrounds.
The policy went into effect Monday morning for both those who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated.
The commissioners initially postponed taking a vote during their regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, choosing to wait until hearing the opinion of the Wayne County Health Board, which met Thursday, Aug. 19.
City of Richmond
Announced Monday (Aug. 23): As of Wednesday, Aug. 25, the City of Richmond will return to some previous COVID-19 precautions within all city buildings to protect the health of city employees and the public, according to a news release from Mayor Dave Snow’s office.
Employees must wear masks during work hours when working within 6 feet from one another, and when interacting with the public.
Masks will be required for all citizens who enter any city facilities.
City buildings will return to a capacity limit within common gathering areas and vehicles.
Roseview Transit riders will be required to wear a mask.
City boards and commissions can continue meeting in person as long as capacity measures are met and those attending are wearing masks.
The main entrance at city hall and some other city buildings will continue to require a brief health screening before entry.
The news release noted the need for all to wear masks properly.
Because of rising COVID cases, Reid Health put new visitor restrictions in place as of Monday, Aug. 23.
Under the revised policy, patients will be limited to one visitor per day. At physician offices and outpatient services including outpatient surgery, patients may bring one companion to an appointment.
Exceptions to this policy will be made in some settings, including end-of-life and hospice. Those situations will be managed by nursing leadership.
Reminder: Wayne County Health Department has moved its testing site back to the former Elder-Beerman store, 601 E. Main St., Richmond, because of increased numbers of residents seeking tests.