WS/FCS Adjusting Face Covering Requirements Following State Guidance Changes
May 12, 2021 - In accordance with recent updates to the North Carolina StrongSchools Toolkit and COVID-19 related guidance specifically about face coverings, WS/FCS is making slight adjustments to face covering requirements. Face coverings continue to be required for all staff, guests, and students five or older when indoors, always. The update, which WS/FCS will follow, now states that face coverings are not required when outside for activities such as recess, outdoor class settings, or when students participate in an outdoor PE class. Physical distancing of 6 feet should continue to be followed when students are in congregate environments. Adults and staff should continue practicing 6 feet of physical distancing at all times when they congregate.
WS/FCS To End COVID-19 Symptom Screenings
April 27, 2021 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will end COVID-19 symptom screenings when students, adults, and any visitors enter our buildings effective Monday, May 3, 2021.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC no longer recommends or requires the screening, which includes a temperature check. Guidance from state and federal agencies now says that symptom screening is no longer seen as an effective way to reduce spread.
We will still require face coverings to be worn at all times and we will still practice physical distancing. We are also asking parents to continue to let us know if a student has had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, had any symptoms, or been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Some of the reasons for ending COVID-19 screenings include:
- The daily symptom screening checklist is no longer required or recommended for students in NC K-12 Schools per NCDHHS StrongSchools Toolkit.
- NCDHHS says screening for adults is OPTIONAL, but no longer required.
- The Forsyth County Department of Public Health has recommended an end date for screening saying the screening is no longer necessary or effective.
- The CDC does not currently recommend schools conduct symptom screening as it is no longer seen as an effective mitigation strategy.
- The CDC calls COVID-19 Symptom screening limited and ineffective.
- Symptom screening has been found to fail to identify some students/adults who have the virus.
- Symptom screening might require unnecessary close contact or frequent interaction between screeners (school personnel or volunteers) and multiple students.
- Symptom screening has the potential to exclude certain students repeatedly, such as those with chronic medical conditions, from school even though they do not have COVID-19 or any contagious illness.
- Parents and guardians must still closely monitor children for the symptoms.
- Students who are sick or experiencing symptoms should not attend school in-person.
- Adults should be encouraged to monitor themselves for symptoms and not attend school or work if they are experiencing symptoms.
- The temperature check is considered part of the “Symptom Screening Process” and therefore not necessary.
- The mask mandate still applies. All students, staff members, and visitors must wear appropriate face coverings while inside all WS/FCS buildings and facilities.
- Physical distancing will still be practiced as much as possible in all WS/FCS schools and facilities.
New signage has been prepared for all schools and district buildings and will be in place by May 3.
News You Can Use
What will happen if a student comes to school exhibiting symptoms?
Do bus riders still need to complete the quarterly attestations?
What is the timing for moving to Plan A?
When do I have to decide between in-person or remote learning for my student? How do I register my decision?
What about students who attend magnet or choice schools who need transportation? Now that we are moving to Plan A, will WS/FCS be providing transportation?
If we initially choose fully remote, can we change to in-person once we see how our school implements Plan A?
Why do we need a FLEX day?
How does Plan A differ from the current Plan B?
If I choose to keep my student fully remote because of transportation, and then WS/FCS is able to extend transportation, can we change to in-person learning?
As of April 19, there will just be a little over 7 weeks left in the school year, why make this change now?
Why are we not following 6 feet of physical distancing in our schools?
What options will we have for remote learning for the 2021-22 school year?
Open Book Podcast May 2021
WS/FCS Employee COVID-19 Vaccination
WS/FCS 10–12 Graders Begin the Return to In-Person Learning: A Look at Carver High School
Open Book February 2021
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools & Novant Covid Vaccinations
COVID's Impact on Parents and Children: How to meet more of everyone's needs
Proper Cleaning of Schools and Facilities
Wear Your Mask & Protect Your Friends
Manuals & Guidebooks
Resources for You
WS/FCS Equity Statement
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is committed to creating equitable learning environments for all students, developing collaborative partnerships with families and stakeholders who represent our diverse community, ensuring equitable distribution of services and resources, and building a culture of equity that will improve the life chances of all students.