MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – It’s time to wear your mask again in two local school districts. Cheltenham and Lower Merion schools are asking students and staff to carry them in the classrooms and on the buses.
“Please remember to send your child to school with a mask. If your child does not have a mask, it is available in the nurse’s suite. Once the county has returned to ‘medium’ on the data tracker, the district will pivot back to ‘mask recommended’. We still offers Test to Stay and Mask to Stay for eligible students and staff, ”said Cheltenham Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Scriven in a letter sent to parents.
READ MORE: Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race between Republicans Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick still too close to call
When children board the bus and enter the school in the Lower Merion School District on Friday, they will again have to wear a mask.
The district announced the move Thursday night, saying Montgomery County has moved into what is called a “high COVID community level.”
Due to change in CDC COVID level for Montco, masks will be required in LMSD schools / on buses from tomorrow Friday 20 May 2022. pic.twitter.com/ny52syonmP
– Lower Merion SD (@LowerMerionSD) May 20, 2022
What does it mean?
Well, the “high COVID level” has been designated by the CDC, and Lower Merion has aligned its masking policy with these measurements.
This means that Montgomery County has:
- More than 281 cases per 100,000 people.
- More than 10 hospital admissions per 100,000 people.
- And that 3.4% of hospitalized hospital beds are used by COVID patients.
READ MORE: CAPA Senior Skyy Brooks is one of 20 students in the world accepted into Harvard-Berklee’s Dual-Degree program
So in general, this means that both case numbers and admissions have increased in the county.
Nationwide, about a third of the country lives in areas where COVID infections are at medium or high risk.
New cases are approaching 100,000 a day. The number of cases has increased in 41 states, and hospitalizations are increasing in 40 states.
Health experts say the situation is likely to get worse.
“The reality is much worse because we are underestimating COVID cases,” said Dr. Celine Gounder from Kaiser Health News. “Many people test at home using quick tests at home, and many people do not test at all.
Lower Merion is not alone. The Cheltenham School District is also returning to masks for all students and staff.
MORE NEWS: Philadelphia’s first Topgolf venue opens Friday in Somerton near Roosevelt Boulevard
Meanwhile, Philadelphia is still at the mid-sized community level.