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Midstate school districts plan to continue mask-wearing protocols despite CDC changes for fully-vaccinated people
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Midstate school districts plan to continue mask-wearing protocols despite CDC changes for fully-vaccinated people

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Carlisle Prom 9

Carlisle Area High School held its prom on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Most of the event took place under tents in the high school’s courtyard.

In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.

Until they hear otherwise from state government, Sentinel area school districts plan to continue their current mask wearing protocols.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Four of the five districts polled on Friday are taking a wait-and-see approach to changing their health and safety plans.

For now, Carlisle Area School District is adhering to what Gov. Tom Wolf has said about mask wearing, said Eric Sands, district director of management services.

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As Sands understands it, the governor will only lift the mask mandate when 70% or more of Pennsylvania's residents 18-years-old and above have been fully vaccinated.

“We are not there at this point,” Sands said.

South Middleton School District will continue with its mask wearing protocol until it receives further guidance from the state Department of Education, Superintendent Matthew Strine said. In general, the district follows guidance handed down from state education or health departments, which receive their guidance from the CDC, he said.

“As of today, we await further guidance from PDE and DOH to determine if updates are needed to our current health and safety plan,” said Andrew Bitz, assistant to Mark Leidy, superintendent of the Mechanicsburg Area School District.

Cumberland Valley School District only learned of the new CDC guidance late Thursday afternoon, said Tracy Panzer, district spokeswoman. “We are reviewing the CDC’s guidance together with any updated guidelines that we might receive from the PA Department of Health and/or PA Department of Education. In the interim, we have asked our staff to continue to follow our current protocols regarding masking.”

Calls to Big Spring School District were not returned by press time.

Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com.

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