GRPS Extends Mask Mandate Through The End Of The Year
Monday night GRPS announced they are continuing the mask mandate through the end of the school year for pre-K through 12th grade. This applies to all students, staff, and visitors.
The district cited data and guidance from the Kent County Health Department as contributing to the decision. Currently, Kent County is listed in the "highest risk" level for COVID-19 with a 23% positive rate. The mandate will be reevaluated if the risk level enters the "low risk" level.
Leadriane Roby, Ph.D. The Superintendent of Schools sent a reminder stating,
"You are required to keep your student home if your student is showing one or more of the following symptoms regardless of vaccination status: fever, new cough or change in cough, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, body aches, diarrhea/vomiting/nausea, severe headache, extreme tiredness, or congestion/runny nose."
According to the New York Times, November 2021 was the month with the most reported COVID-19 cases since November 2020 in Kent County. Michigan ranks third in the nation for its daily COVID deaths over the last week, behind only California and Texas.
Omicron has an unusual combination of mutations that may enable it to spread faster and overcome some of the body's defenses. However, WDIV-TV in Detroit states that the omicron variant has not yet been detected in Michigan, but health officials are urging residents to take precautions in the form of vaccinations and other mitigation strategies.