East Palestine has joined the growing number of Valley school districts dropping mask mandates in the aftermath of new COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ohio Department of Health.

The East Palestine Local Schools announced that as of Monday, November 1, 2021, the requirement for facial coverings has been ended.

East Palestine had just extended the mandate two weeks ago.

However, a notice from the district said the use of facial coverings is “strongly recommended” as a way to lessen the spread of the virus.

Several other districts have also lifted the mask mandate in schools. However, masks are still mandated on school buses under a federal mandate.

Ohio school quarantine guidelines.

Mask to Stay

Direct contacts, regardless of vaccine or masking status, may remain in the classroom

environment if they do the following:

  • Wear a mask for 14 days after their last date of exposure.
  • Self-monitor, or parent-monitor, for symptoms of Covid-19
  • Isolate and get tested if they start to experience symptoms associated withCovid-19 (regardless of severity)\
  • Consistent with guidance for others quarantining in lower-risk environments,students and staff may discontinue these quarantine procedures after seven days- if they don't develop symptoms and test negative between days 5-7.

Test to Play

Asymptomatic contacts may continue to participate in extracurricular activities if they do the following:

  • Wear a mask when able (This includes transportation; locker rooms; sitting/ standing on sidelines; and anytime the mask will not interfere with breathing, the activity, or create a safety hazard.)
  • Test on initial notification of exposure to Covid-19.
  • Test again on days 5-7. If they are negative at this time, they will test out of the quarantine.