While the city lifted mask mandates even in schools, there’s another variant pushing infection numbers back up. We see a need to be more nimble with our mask policy than making decisions on a semester basis. Starting this week, Breathing Space will adjust mask policies based on DC’s community COVID infection levels using the following metric:
- Green / Low – masks will be optional in all classes.
- Yellow / Medium – masks will be required in early childhood classes (0-4 yrs) where there are many unvaccinated participants and prenatal yoga due to higher risks posed by COVID during pregnancy.
- Red / High – masks required by all participants ages 2+.
As of April 20, DC is in at medium risk status. The city posts updates on Wednesdays, but not before our morning classes begin, so any changes based on the metric will take effect at 2 pm on Wednesdays for the following week.
A few important things to note about our masks policy and how we can all take care of each other and help this pandemic end as soon as possible:
- Our vaccine requirement remains and we strongly recommend boosters for those who are eligible. All participates over the age of 5 years must show proof of full vaccination before their first class.
- We will enforce our general illness policy. No participant should be showing new or significant symptoms of any illness and must be free of fever or vomiting for more than 24 hours before attending class. Symptoms include frequent coughs and substantial runny noses.
- We encourage families to use rapid tests to rule out COVID for even very mild symptoms or allergies. It’s allergy season, so sniffles, sneezing and occasional coughs are expected. Please use the many readily available rapid tests to confirm negative COVID status.
- When in doubt, mask up. If a participant ages 2+ is experiencing mild allergy symptoms, or recovering from an illness that is not COVID, and is occasionally coughing or sniffling, a mask should be worn. Participants too young to wear a mask or reliably cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing should stay home while they are showing even mild or residual symptoms.
- Follow DC recommended precautions after COVID exposure. Unvaccinated persons (4 yrs and younger) should not attend class within 5 days of known exposure. After 5 days, students may attend if they test negative and show no symptoms. All exposed persons, regardless of vaccination, must monitor for symptoms and mask for 10 days after known exposure. We understand that the shifting guidance has been challenging to follow. Thankfully the CDC has a really clear explanation page and a neat little calculator for figuring out quarantine and DC policies align with CDC.
If your second shot Moderna/Pfizer was more than 5 months ago or your J&J shot was more than 2 months ago, it’s time for a booster (and maybe a 2nd one if you are over 50). This is especially important for our prenatal students who are at increased risk of severe illness if they contract COVID. Find a DC vaccination site.