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3-7-2022 Winter Update

March 8th, 2022

Dear Students, Families, and Educators:

You are probably aware that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised guidance on the use of masks. In addition to the number of positive cases in each county, the new guidelines also take into account vaccination levels and the severity of cases in those counties. The formula helps determine a community level rating of high, medium or low, which also determines the kinds of precautions schools should continue to use in the ongoing management of COVID cases.

The number of positive COVID cases is dropping in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, and this week the CDC changed Cuyahoga County’s community level rating from medium to low.

Based upon this rating from the CDC and after consultation with the Cleveland Department of Public Health, CMSD will be suspending our current mask requirements.  While masks will no longer be required at this time, consistent with the CDC’s updated guidance, based upon the low vaccination rates among school-age children – just over 20 percent for ages 5 to 11 and slightly more than 30 percent for ages 12 to 19 – it is still the Cleveland Department of Public Health’s and the District’s strong preference that students and adults continue to wear masks while in District schools and offices.  

The reality is that, because vaccination rates are so low, many in our community are still at risk of catching the virus, and all of us, vaccinated or unvaccinated, can be carriers. Letting our guard down now could easily lead to another surge and more of the suffering that has devastated Cleveland families.

With that danger in mind, I continue to ask that everyone who enters our buildings – students, staff and visitors – consider wearing masks. 

I also appeal to those of you who are eligible to get fully vaccinated. CMSD has joined Mayor Justin Bibb’s vaccination campaign and will help spread information about COVID vaccine myths and facts. You can find the latest information about available COVID vaccination clinics on our website at www.clevelandmetroschools.org.  

The District will also continue to offer free weekly COVID testing in our schools for students and staff.  Please contact your school’s fulltime health professional for more information about this free COVID testing.

Finally, CMSD will continue to work closely with the Cleveland Department of Public Health to monitor new COVID cases on a daily and weekly basis.  Students and parents should be prepared for the necessity to reinstate our mask requirement should cases begin to increase again.

Thank you to all who have supported us by faithfully following our safety protocols since the pandemic began two years ago. Signs are hopeful that, if we persevere, our fight will soon be successful.

Sincerely,

eric gordon

Eric S. Gordon

Chief Executive Officer
Cleveland Metropolitan School District