Dear WCS Families,
Whitehall City Schools has been approached by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC) to be a part of a case study involving mask wearing and what is defined as “close contact” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our school district is one of 10 Ohio school districts participating.
Under current CDC guidelines, children who are within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of another child with COVID-19 are considered close contacts regardless of mask usage. This definition was established early on during the pandemic as a mitigation measure because mask wearing was not widely observed. In settings, such as our school buildings, where mask wearing is strictly enforced, the definition may be too strong resulting in unnecessary quarantine and missed days of school. The question researchers are trying to answer is whether this definition of close contact can be safely altered to incorporate mask usage.
Through their research and observation, the GRC will be testing children (who are given parental consent) multiple times per week for COVID-19. The children will do nothing out of the ordinary during their typical school day. They will simply be tested and observed.
Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. This is our opportunity to help researchers learn more about safer mitigation measures and strike a more efficient and consistent protocol for keeping kids safe and keeping kids in school.
The documents linked below provide a more detailed description of the research and processes involved. The research will commence immediately with prior consent from parents/guardians. We will contact you if consent is needed for your child.
Whitehall City Schools