Several central Illinois school districts change COVID-19 rules following judge’s ruling

(25 NEWS) – Several school districts in central Illinois have changed their COVID-19 rules following a Friday judge ruling that suspends state enforcement of masking and testing requirements .

Metamora Township High School sent a message to parents saying it will switch to an optional mask format starting Monday.

In a statement, Superintendent and Principal Sean O’Laughlin said, “Throughout the pandemic, MTHS has been working to protect our students, staff and their families to the best of our abilities. We have followed the law and legal advice to the best of our abilities. We have prioritized in-person learning and the pursuit of extracurricular activities. The MTHS community has done an exceptional job of going through these difficult years with civility and patience. I ask that you continue to be patient as we navigate what I hope will be the end of the pandemic. »

Morton Community Unit District #709 Superintendent Jeffrey Hill sent a message to parents containing several bullet points. The message read: “Masks are optional for all students and employees…We will return to close contact home quarantines at Tuesday’s school board meeting…The employee testing program will be suspended until further notice… Masking on buses is a federal government guideline and will continue. This will also be discussed at our Tuesday Board meeting… Enforcement of our policy of sending students home with cold or flu symptoms until these symptoms are no longer present will continue.

El Paso Gridley CUSD #11 posted on Facebook on Saturday, stating that “masking will be recommended, but not required in EPG schools” from Monday.

Prairie Central CUSD #8 posted on Facebook on Sunday, stating that “masks are recommended, but not required, for all students and staff. We continue to encourage and support masking for anyone who wishes.

The district added, “While sick students will still need to be quarantined, students considered close contacts will not. In order to keep students and staff safe, we will be asking parents to be diligent in keeping their children home when they are not feeling well.

Brimfield CUSD #309 Superintendent Tony Shinall released a statement on the district’s website on Saturday, telling the families, “At this time, we are reviewing the judge’s decision and will let you know as soon as possible if this decision has an impact. on students and staff at Brimfield CUSD #309. members.”

Limestone Community Secondary School District #310 Superintendent Allan Gresham released a statement on the district’s website on Sunday, saying, “While the district encourages the use of masks and COVID-19 testing, it will not exclude students or staff who choose not to not wear a mask or be tested. We appreciate your continued support as we navigate changes to COVID-19 guidelines in addition to the ever-changing legal situation.

Riverview Elementary School SDCC #2 released a statement on its website on Sunday, saying, “Riverview Elementary School will continue to encourage the use of face coverings but will allow parents to make this decision for their individual students, as well as staff. The Board and Administration have and will continue to advocate for local control with respect to mitigations and protocols.

The statement added: “Consistent with the court’s decision, we will not exclude an asymptomatic student who was a close contact. This decision will be at the discretion of the local health department and parents.”

Elmwood CSD #322 sent a statement to families on Sunday that read, “Elmwood #322 will wear a recommended mask, but not a required status for all students and staff… Elmwood #322 will not be tracing contacts or ruling out close contacts… students and staff who test positive will be expelled from school.

Dunlap CUSD #323 released a statement on Sunday that read, “While the district encourages mask use and COVID-19 testing, it will not exclude students or staff who choose not to wear a mask or be tested. Additionally, according to the TRO, the district will not exclude teachers and students based on suspected close contact unless due process is granted and IDPH procedures are followed.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

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