Safe, Equitable Education in Barrington District 220
To ensure the safety of students, masks should continue to be mandated for all students, faculty, staff and visitors when present at Barrington 220 schools. This policy should apply until all school-aged children are eligible to be vaccinated, have unrestricted access to said vaccines, and community spread of COVID is within the acceptable ranges set forth by the Lake County Health Department.
Individuals who choose to remain unvaccinated should remain masked, in accordance with the CDC and IDPH guidelines. Since the overwhelming majority of students will be attending class in person in the fall, masks will become even more essential to keep COVID from spreading in schools and in our community at large. At a minimum, CDC and Lake County Health Department guidelines should be followed to ensure the safety of our students and community as a whole.
Why is this important? The evidence is clear and the message from the CDC, scientists worldwide and doctors is aligned and straightforward. Masks prevent transmission of COVID-19 as well as other illnesses (like colds and flu). Children over 12 years old are able to access the vaccine but younger children are not. The universal masking policy should remain in place until all students have access to the vaccine and community spread is deemed safe by local health departments. The spread of COVID variants - including those currently known and those yet to evolve - in our community makes masking even MORE important. The variants are shown to spread more rapidly and cause more severe illness, hospitalization and death.