Update to Masking Mandate
Effective March 7, 2022, masks will be recommended, not required
Parents and Friends,
We have seen multiple updates regarding changes to the mask mandates from the state, county, and the Diocese of Sacramento in the last two days. Some of this guidance is inconsistent, specifically in terms of the timeline for implementation, so we want to share with you Jesuit’s plan to move away from the mask mandates for students and staff.
At present, Sacramento County is in the medium-risk category per the CDC. More specifically, our School Nurse’s Office is only aware of two positive cases in the entire Jesuit High School community. We also feel the difficulty of enforcing a mask mandate on campus while most of the schools in the Catholic community in Sacramento have removed the mandate. Enforcing this expectation will prove more difficult than necessary given our current safety profile.
We would like to grant some time for employees, students, and families to prepare for the mandate to end on our campus and make any adjustments necessary. For those who are eager to see the mask mandate lifted, please respect that an institution of our size and complexity requires dozens of considerations when implementing significant policy changes. Additionally, we want time to prepare our students for this change and encourage them to support their peers and teachers who may still opt to wear a mask for any number of good reasons. While we hope to be at the end of this pandemic, we know it is not over and we want to respect and support members of our community to make decisions about their health and the health of their families.
Jesuit will allow for masks to be strongly recommended, but not mandatory starting on Monday, March 7, 2022. As of this date, Jesuit will not enforce universal masking.
In anticipation of questions about the details of this change, I wanted to communicate what to expect on our campus in the coming days and weeks.
- Masking is still mandated until the end of the day Friday, March 4.
- The first day of in-class instruction with strongly recommended masking will be Monday, March 7.
- There is no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated in the state masking policy.
- Local health departments may issue stricter guidelines, although Sacramento County has stated it will follow the state guidelines and not issue local enforcements.
- Jesuit will not enforce universal masking but reiterate the “strongly recommended” mask-wearing and support those who continue wearing masks in the school setting.
- Jesuit will keep other virus mitigation efforts in place, including enhanced room ventilation, 3 ft spacing of desks and furniture, and requiring individuals to stay home if ill or symptomatic.
- Additional guidelines on contact tracing, quarantining, and isolation are expected from CDPH in the next week.
- Students may now eat indoors. All other indoor spaces such as locker rooms, music halls, black box theater, spectator sports, etc will now simply strongly recommend masking. Venues and gatherings may still have some extra virus mitigation protocols depending on attendance and these will be clarified on a case by case basis.
- We will be prepared to reinstate the mask mandate should the health guidelines recommend that we do so.
- We are waiting on clarification from CIF on virus mitigation efforts for athletes, especially those indoors or traveling.
We are asking for community support to help us get through what we hope will be the final stage of returning to normal. We all look forward to classrooms and interactions that help all of our students feel better connected and engaged mentally and physically. Thank you for the flexibility you’ve demonstrated in supporting Jesuit High School over the past two years during the pandemic. As we shift toward treating COVID-19 as endemic, we reiterate that the safety of the Jesuit High School community must be the guiding factor for any decisions affecting our students and staff.
Michael Wood ‘99