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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Mask Policy To Remain In Place Across Cincinnati Public Schools

medical mask

Cincinnati Public Schools confirmed in an email sent to parents, guardians and caregivers on Tuesday that students and staff will be required to wear masks for at least the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

This will also be the policy for the district's summer programs. The CDC will update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks, and the district will review safety procedures for the upcoming academic year. For a look at the district's current COVID-19 safety plan, click here.

The district is partnering with Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati Children's and TriHealth to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to students ages 12 and older. Students can fill out a flyer to receive Pfizer shots onsite at CPS high schools May 24-25. The second shot will be administered the week of June 14.

COVID-19 impacted the district greatly throughout the academic year. Nearly 1,700 COVID-19 cases have been reported throughout CPS since May 2020, including more than 600 staff and 1,000 students. The pandemic also cost the district at least $42 million and resulted in nearly 5,000 students withdrawing from the district.

CPS will have classes in-person five days a week during the next academic year, including options for remote learning. At least 69% of staff members have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.