While the city lifted mask mandates even in schools this past spring, summer brought another variant pushing infection numbers back up and winter is expected to be challenging as other viruses also spread. Our student population includes infants too young to be vaccinated and pregnant people who are at increased risk of severe infection from COVID-19, so we see a need for continued caution. Breathing Space mask policies depend 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+.
The DC posts updates on Wednesdays, so any changes based on the metric will take effect on Thursdays for the following week. College Park class policy will be based on PG County numbers.
A few important things to note about our masks policy and how we can all take care of each other:
- 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. 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.