The Solon City School District is back to requiring masks in all seven of its buildings beginning last week due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The school year began Aug. 18, with masks strongly recommended for Solon Middle School and High School due to the ability of students in those buildings to be vaccinated, Tamara Strom, the district’s communication director, said.

Masks were required from the start of the year in the preschool, as well as the three elementary schools, including Lewis, Parkside and Roxbury, and Orchard, the fifth and sixth grade middle school.

But the district moved back to requiring masks for grades seven through 12 due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the school community and the surrounding Solon and Glenwillow communities and to help limit the spread of COVID-19 cases across grade levels in families, she said.

Ms. Strom said the district is “staying the course” with masks required for all students and staff in all of its classroom buildings.

“As we have shared with our families, we will continue to reassess the incidence data in our schools and our surrounding Solon and Glenwillow community to determine if adjustments are possible,” she said. “The goal is to keep our students in school in person five days a week.”

Ms. Strom said the district has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Our schools are a reflection of the community around us, and we have seen a corresponding rise in cases in our schools as well,” she said. “Cases of COVID-19 have increased in our community and in our schools.”

“We report total staff and student cases as well as the number of students who need to be excluded from school due to a close contact exposure on our COVID-19 Dashboard linked on our district homepage,” she added.

As of Monday, there were 19 on-campus student positive cases and four staff member positive cases.

She said the priority at the schools remains keeping students safe, in school and engaged in activities, “which is challenging.”

“All of our schools are also prioritizing student activities,” Ms. Strom continued. “We are continually assessing our protocols and making adjustments as needed.”

The COVID-19 mitigation protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remain in place, she said. Those include masking, cleaning and sanitization, hand washing and hand sanitizing, hospital grade ventilation upgrade and as much distancing as possible in all school indoor spaces.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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