JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson Public Schools has lifted its mask mandate, which was put in place in November in an effort to combat COVID-19.
Superintendent Jeff Beal said they speak regularly with Henry Ford Allegiance Health to gauge how the hospital system is faring with the pandemic and monitor the community, as well.
“Right now, we’ve seen a sharp decline, a very rapid decline from what we were experiencing a month ago at this time,” he said. “As Omicron makes its way out, it opens up opportunities for us to be able to say we are able to pivot back to mask optional standpoint and really kind of leaning more on the personal responsibility.”
As of Friday, there were 10 cases among students and four cases within the staff ranks. An additional seven students had close contact with someone who tested positive. That is according to the Jackson Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard.
Masks must still be worn on buses which administrators say is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements. Beal said they will continue to monitor the seriousness of COVID and will re-evaluate based on data.
According to the state new cases in Jackson County have dropped by more than 85 percent since the week of Jan. 15.
“It is really going to be driven kind of by what’s happening in our community…what’s happening with the numbers,” he said. “This isn’t a decision that we make based on where the wind blows one day or another.”
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, awaiting a COVID test or feeling ill administrators are asking you not to come in to school. They are requiring a five-day quarantine if you test positive regardless of vaccination status.
At the end of the five-day quarantine, those who are still not feeling well are asked to extend the quarantine to 10 days.
“If you’re not feeling well, take the day and we’ll get you where you need to be but we’d much rather have you healthy when you return,” Beal said.
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