March 4, 2022
Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,
As you know, Governor Murphy’s mask mandate is set to expire on Monday, March 7, 2022. At that time the wearing of face masks in the Nutley Public Schools will become optional for all staff, students and visitors.
Please remember that the NJ Department of Health has recommended reinstating masking in schools in some instances: if the CALI score moves back to orange or red, when individuals are returning from a quarantine or isolation, if someone becomes symptomatic in school, or if there is an active outbreak in the schools. This decision would be made in consultation with the local health department. Weekly CALI scores can be found here.
Many of our practices other than masking, such as those for social distancing, hygiene, ventilation, and cleaning will remain unchanged. Below, please see some highlights of the guidance, as well as several graphics attached, from the NJ Department of Health for clarity.
Current CDC guidance does not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. Optional masking on buses and vans will also begin in Nutley on March 7.
Quarantine and Isolation Periods
Isolation periods remain unchanged from January 2022 guidance. If required to isolate due to being COVID positive, an individual must stay home for 5 days following symptoms or a positive test result. If they are symptom free, or have symptoms improving (no fever for 24 hours), they can return to school fully masked on Day 6. They will be required to mask from Day 6-10. If an individual is unable to wear a mask, they should remain at home for the full 10 days.
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, that have been in close contact and unmasked (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes), will be required to quarantine for 5 days. Then, they will be required to mask from Day 6-10. If they are not able to wear a mask, return to school would be Day 8, with a negative PCR test done on days 5-7. If an individual is unable to wear a mask or test, they should remain at home for the full 10 days.
Contact tracing will be done on an individual basis at each building. Nutley will continue to track the cases per building using the dashboard here.
Executive Order 253, requiring unvaccinated staff to be tested, is still in force. We will continue testing staff each Monday, including continuing optional student testing.
The choice to wear a mask or not wear a mask is now a protected characteristic in our district HIB policy linked here. Please be aware and report incidents regarding possible harassment, intimidation and bullying regarding masking. Staff should inform students of the repercussions if they harass, intimidate or bully someone for wearing or not wearing a mask. Please make students aware that their comments could end with a confirmed HIB.
Please remember that the decision to wear a mask or not wear a mask is a decision for individual families. Staff will not be responsible for ensuring that students are remaining masked or unmasked, unless an individual is required to mask (Day 6-10) following being COVID positive or quarantining due to close contact.
As a community, we all want the transmission rates to stay low as we continue to learn to live with COVID-19 in the most normal way possible. Please continue to socially distance to the extent possible, use proper hand washing and hygiene, and consider full vaccination and booster shots. If you are feeling unwell—PLEASE STAY HOME.
Thank you for your support and flexibility as we continue to navigate guidance to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Dr. Julie Glazer, Superintendent of Schools