Masks Required

Masks Required
Change to Return to School Plan - Masks Required

PCSS families, 

As the number of active cases of COVID-19 continues to rise within our community, the Putnam County Return to School Plan will now require that masks be worn at all times when social distancing is not possible while inside PCSS facilities, including classrooms. 

This decision was made after a meeting between several local pediatricians and school system administrators to review the PCSS Return to School Plan as well as receipt of a letter signed by 36 physicians of the Upper Cumberland Medical Society. During the meeting,  Dr. Jim Batson stated, “We agree that students should return to school, but we believe that the recommendation to wear masks must be implemented in order to return safely and following as closely as possible the CDC guidelines.” When asked about the safety of students with underlying health issues such as asthma wearing a mask, Dr. Leslie Treece stated, “Especially those students, should be wearing a mask to provide an additional layer of protection.” Family Nurse Practitioner Nicole Agbunag also stated, “Masking seems to be the most effective way to open schools at this time and remain open long term.” Other medical professionals including CRMC Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Mark Pierce and CRMC hospitalist Dr. Fabian Ngido also attended the meeting and strongly recommended that masks should be worn at all times while inside and social distancing is not possible. Physicians from all local pediatric offices agree with the strong recommendation that masks should be worn at all times inside buildings where social distancing is not possible.

We understand that this change to our Return to School plan will create an uncomfortable environment for many students, faculty, and staff members but we also want to be as safe as possible as we return to school during the current pandemic. We cannot ignore these strong recommendations from our local medical providers that are tasked with treating our students and families and maintaining the health of our community as a whole. Our hope is that the spread of COVID will slow to a level within our community where some of these requirements can be lifted. 

Our goal is always to provide the best education in the safest environment possible.  We ask for the continued support and cooperation of students, parents, and teachers in this effort.

Thank you, 

Corby King

PCSS Director of Schools

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