KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County on Wednesday released guidance for schools in the area to safely reopen as the school year approaches.
According to the county, the guidance was based largely on what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended as cases of the delta variant rise in the area.
“We are currently averaging 58 new COVID-19 cases per day in Wyandotte County, compared to only 10 new cases per day one month ago,” Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer for the Unified Government Public Health Department, said. “In addition to this, we have found that 100% of the COVID-19 cases we have sequenced since July 1st have been caused by the delta variant."
As a result, the county says all students and staff should wear masks in classrooms and non-classroom settings including hallways, restrooms, gyms, buses and offices.
Schools should also implement policies to promote at least three feet of physical distancing between people in schools. In higher risk activities, people should be six feet apart.
In addition, schools should offer testing for people showing COVID-19 symptoms and vaccinate people when possible.
Students and staff who test positive for the virus should isolate at home for 10 days after symptoms begin or `10 days from a positive test. Schools should also use contract tracing for additional exposures.
Schools should practice hand washing and respiratory etiquette and should maintain clean and healthy facilities.
The county says this is just guidance because current Kansas law does not allow them to mandate any COVID-19 related policies. Instead, it's up to local school boards to do so.