COVID Update

August 18, 2021

Allegan & Kalamazoo County Health Departments Issue Mask Order

Good afternoon, Otsego families,


Today, the Allegan and Kalamazoo County Health Departments jointly released a new mask order for schools that will impact a portion of our student body and staff. I would like to take a moment to describe the order and its implications for Otsego students, staff and families.


Beginning today at noon, students in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade are required to wear masks when inside school buildings and on school transportation. This order also does not apply to extracurricular activities such as sports practices or games. The health department stated that it has developed this mandate since this age group is not able to be vaccinated.


According to the order, all students and staff who share space with students in grades K-6 must also wear a mask.


This means staff and students must now wear masks:

  • In all indoor school spaces with students K-6th grade during school hours,

  • In the hallways or shared spaces. (For the middle school, we will look into making adjustments in schedule, but until then, 7th and 8th graders will need to wear a mask entering and exiting the building and in between classes. Once in class, they can remove their masks.)

  • On school transportation for all students, K-12


Masks will remain optional for students in 7th-12th grade, as well as staff, when they are not with students in grades K-6.


Currently, there is not a set end date to this order. This order remains in effect until six weeks past the date that the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and available to those five years through age eleven or until further notice from the Health Department.


As we mentioned at the start of the year, we would follow any orders issued. We will abide by this order and hope that we can keep COVID cases at low levels so we can remain in-person throughout the school year. We have been overjoyed to see our students and staff reunited in all of our buildings and we are grateful that will not change.


Sincerely,


Jeffery S. Haase, Superintendent

Otsego Public Schools

Orders and Releases from health departments