This afternoon, we received the weekly report from Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) stating that our district has now gone from red status to orange. If you recall, after our August Board of Education meeting, we announced that masks would be required when we were in purple or red status and recommended when we were in orange status.
This means that -- beginning tomorrow -- masks will go from required to recommended for all students, staff, and visitors at Mountain Home Public Schools.
There is no doubt that our students and staff being in masks has kept hundreds of students from having to be sent home to quarantine. I want to thank you all for your support and cooperation during this time when case numbers were so high in the community.
While we are in orange status, I strongly recommend that students and staff continue to wear masks when six feet of social distance cannot be accomplished. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, if a person tests positive for COVID-19 but the person and their close contacts were all wearing masks, the close contacts are not required to quarantine. If less people are wearing masks, more people will be required to quarantine. It is as simple as that.
So, while masks won’t be required while we are in orange status, I recommend that our students, staff and visitors continue wearing them to keep quarantines and potential illness at a minimum.
We want our kids healthy and at school with us every day. We want them to enjoy their school-related and personal activities. We want our parents to be able to work and not be home with children in quarantine or isolation.