August 26, 2021 Addendum to the COVID-19 Update of August 6, 2021
- We ask all parents to earnestly consider CDC and local health department recommendations. The current CDC recommendation for schools is universal masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
- Pope Francis stated in an August 18, 2021 public service announcement: “Being vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the competent authorities is an act of love. And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love — love for oneself, love for one’s family and friends, love for all people.” Along with Pope Francis, the Diocese of Gaylord encourages all who are able to get vaccinated, contributing with this small gesture “for a better future."
COVID-19 Update: August 6, 2021
On June 22, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) lifted all remaining public health orders pertaining to COVID-19. Previous coronavirus requirements for schools and child care programs have now been replaced by the Aug 4 recommendations from the MDHHS for consideration by schools and their parents. Please consult your school’s leadership for further direction.
The goal of each Catholic school in the Diocese of Gaylord is to care for the well-being of our students, teachers and staff. We define well-being as the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and social well-being. Because of this holistic approach, we set our goals to conduct in-person learning as much as possible, with as few restrictions as possible.
- We will always follow mandates; however, recommendations allow our own experience and local expertise to bear weight on final decisions.
- At this time and given current health conditions, the diocese will not require the use of masks at school/school events, but schools must allow individuals (students and staff) to wear masks if they choose. This guidance could change in response to local health data and State mandates over the course of the school year.
- The diocese recognizes that vaccinations are the decision of the families, but are strongly encouraged by the diocese.
- Schools will foster an environment of Christian charity and respect for others’ decisions regarding vaccination status and use of masks.
- Schools should continue to utilize the CDC guidance for cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene.
- Spacing of 3-6 feet between students is recommended for indoor activities in shared spaces.
- Parents/guardians should monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day before arrival at school.
- Students who are sick or displaying symptoms of infectious illness should not attend school and seek medical care when necessary.
- Schools should continue to report positive cases to Health Department and report positive cases to school families.
- At this time, there are no COVID-related restrictions for athletics; schools will follow MHSAA requirements.
- While the diocese is not requiring masks at school events, the use of facial coverings is required by federal order on school buses and other forms of public transportation in the United States.
- Individual schools may put in place additional safety policies, above and beyond the diocesan guidance.