LFC Comments: A Lake Catholic high school parent questioned the administration in 2021 about their policy toward wearing masks as a preventative measure against Covid. Here is their answer to the questions:
We find it a bit ironic that “religious exemptions” are not permitted in a Catholic school.
Lake Catholic’s Response:
We have always believed that our Covid related actions should be a reflection of what is happening in our building. It is what allowed us to be the first high school in Lake County to open for in person learning and to stay that way for 84% of the time. We do believe that wearing masks was a significant contributor to that success, and for that we credit our parents, students and employees.
Having said that, our goal coming into this year was to have as normal of an experience for our students as possible. When it comes to COVID that meant in person learning, without masks.
However, our experience this past week has changed our point of view as we have 11 students who have tested positive or whose exposure and symptoms are serious enough, we expect their results will be positive.
To put that in perspective, for the entire 2020-2021 school year we only had 22 positive cases.
So we’re a week and a half into the school year and we’re at 50% of last year’s incidences.
Effective Wednesday September 1 –
Masks will temporarily be mandatory for anyone inside the Lake Catholic building
Understanding, to the best of our abilities, the current situation we are in, Lake Catholic is requiring that all persons entering Lake Catholic school buildings wear a face covering regardless of COVID vaccination status until further notice.
Guidelines to adhere to:
- Face coverings are to be worn by all persons while inside Lake Catholic High School, regardless of time of day.
- Face coverings must fit properly
(Snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face)
- Students/school personnel may remove face coverings when seated in the lunchroom/atrium and are actively eating/drinking.
- Student athletes/gym students need not wear face coverings when actively participating in a physical activity.
- All persons may remove face coverings when outside the school building.
- All persons with a disability, or who cannot safely wear a face covering, for reasons related to the disability need not wear a face covering with proper documentation from their primary care doctor
- School personnel may remove masks when working in an enclosed space, alone.
Religious exemptions are NOT allowed.
For what it’s worth Pope Francis advocates for mask wearing and vaccinations
In addition, we are updating/clarifying our COVID protocols to include the following:
- Anyone receiving a positive COVID test will be required to stay home for 10 days.
- Students will be responsible for contacting their teacher for assignments.
Please know that Simultaneous Learning will not be an option for students in quarantine.
- Any student who is exhibiting any symptoms will be sent to the nurses office for evaluation
- We will periodically and proactively administer a PCR COVID test to gauge whether a particular cohort, who was potentially exposed to COVID, to discern the potential for community spread. (See the attached for a more detailed explanation of the process)
Additional Expectations and/or recommendations
Please DO NOT send your child to school or a practice if they are exhibiting symptoms
- The top three COVID symptoms in Lake County are
- Headache and
- Runny Nose
- In other words, what appears to be a ‘normal’ illness are the same symptoms as COVID
While masks are an effective deterrent to contracting COVID, we do advocate for getting vaccinated.
Since January 2021:
- 98% of COVID hospitalizations are unvaccinated Ohioans
- 99% of COVID deaths are unvaccinated Ohioans
- While there are some breakthrough cases, the medical ramifications are not as serious
Respect the differences in our community
Our focus in this entire effort has been the safety of our community. We do not want anyone to focus on who is right, or being perceived as right, but rather on getting it right.
And right now, getting it right means allowing our students to be in school for in-person learning as much as possible. If the community spread we experienced in a matter of days were to continue, their in-person learning would be difficult to accomplish.
The Lake Catholic Administration