Vicksburg Catholic Schools to make masks optional after Thanksgiving

Published 3:07 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

Vicksburg Catholic Schools announced this week its intention to downgrade to “Level 1” for COVID-19 protocols following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Level 1, according to a statement from the school, means face masks are encouraged for all students, teachers and staff, but will no longer be required.

“As we continue to see the number of vaccinations increase and the number of positive Covid cases decrease both in our school and our community, we feel we may safely move to Level 1 of our Covid protocols,” the statement, which was signed by principals Mary Arledge and Karla McHan, said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and if an increase in cases is seen, a decision may be made to return to a higher level. Please continue to practice good health and safety guidelines such as regular handwashing and distancing.”

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The move to Level 1 protocols will go into effect on Monday, Nov. 29. According to VCS, the protocol states:

  • All faculty/ staff and students will be encouraged to wear masks indoors. Unvaccinated individuals are especially encouraged to wear masks. Masks may be required in certain classrooms or in other instances as determined by the teacher or administration.
  • Reasonable efforts will be made to maintain a minimum of three feet between individuals. Common areas such as the cafeteria, specialized classrooms, and auditoriums may be used throughout the day so long as they are sanitized in between classes.
  • Contact tracing will be conducted when a positive case is reported. Students or school personnel known to have been in close contact (less than three feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will:
    1. Not attend school or activities for 10 days after the last contact with the infected individual. Students who do not develop symptoms and receive a negative COVID-19 test result after day five may return to school. Please note positive antibody test results will not be accepted.
    2. Follow the guidelines for students/personnel that have been infected if symptoms develop.
    3. Individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 in the past 90 days or individuals who have been fully vaccinated for fourteen days will not be required to quarantine, assuming no symptoms develop and documentation is provided.
  • School visitors are permitted at the principal’s discretion.

“We cannot thank you all enough for the cooperation and patience you have demonstrated throughout the pandemic,” the statement read. “It is thanks to everyone working together that VCS has been able to continue with minimal disruptions. We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.”