Salem School District board passes new COVID 19 protocols

The Salem School District board at a special board meeting Wednesday passed a new set of COVID-19 protocols that would require mandatory masking for staff and students if COVID-19 active cases reach certain levels.

The board had initially passed another set of protocols last week at another special board meeting, but acted again Wednesday when administration pointed out language in that measure did not accurately reflect board consensus that developed during the meeting’s discussion.

Under the new protocols passed Wednesday:

When the school reaches 23 or more active cases (orange level) for five consecutive days, the following will be among the measures instituted: Grades 6-8: Masking is mandatory in the building in all situations where social distancing cannot be maintained (partner activities, small groups, in Specials or Advanced Algebra, hallway transitions). When seated at desks and working independently, students may remove their mask. Grades 4K-5: Masking is mandatory. Staff: Masking is mandatory.

When the school reaches 34 or greater active cases (red level) for three consecutive school days, previous safety precautions from Level Orange will continue with the addition of mandatory masking at all times while inside the building as well as other measures.

The full protocols are available here.

As of Wednesday, the district has no active COVID-19 cases, district administrator Connie Valenza said.

The new protocols passed by a 3 to 1 vote, with member Steve Brown voting no. Member Nick Pauloni was absent for the vote on Wednesday, but voted in favor of enacting protocols last week.


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