The Diocese of Allentown will make masks recommended, but not required, in its Catholic schools beginning January 10.
Dr. Philip Fromuth, Superintendent of Catholic Education, announced the plan in a letter to parents today (12/15).
School leaders will continue to monitor the situation in schools and in communities throughout the five-county Diocese, and they may make changes as needed in the future.
In addition, Dr. Fromuth said, other virus mitigation measures will remain in place in schools, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, quarantine protocols when needed, and contact tracing after any positive cases.
“Given that we remain in a global pandemic,” Dr. Fromuth said, “if the situation changes and compromises our ability to keep our schools both safe and open, we will review and revise our mitigation strategies.”
The main goals of the Diocese’s virus mitigation plan, Dr. Fromuth said, are to keep students and staff safe, to keep students in school for in-person instruction, and to keep schools open. He thanked parents, students, and staff for their collective efforts so far this year in helping to accomplish those goals.
In a December 2 letter to parents, Dr. Fromuth said the current mitigation strategies, including the mask requirement, would remain in place until mid-January.
Announcing the planned transition in the mask policy now gives parents time to prepare for the change and, if they so desire, to obtain vaccinations or boosters for their children.