Fully in-person instruction begins Wednesday for the Desert Sands Unified School District, with students and faculty required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The school district will be welcoming back its nearly 27,000 students to newly adjusted COVID-19 protocols. Superintendent Scott Bailey stated in a letter Aug. 9 that the district will be following guidelines set out by the California Department of Public Health.

Social distancing will no longer be in a place according to a COVID-19 safety document released by the school district. The document explains that this move “is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention K-12 School Guidance.”

The document also states that staff and students will be required to “self-screen” daily for symptoms of COVID-19. Parents are to monitor their children for symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath and other symptoms before sending their children to school.

The document explains that if symptoms of COVID-19 are exhibited while at school, the student will be cared for in an “isolation space” and that parents will be notified if the student will be sent home.

Face masks are only required indoors, and are optional outdoors for all in-school settings. The document states that mask exemption forms can be filed by people who cannot wear masks due to medical reasons.

The district’s guidance states that classrooms will be cleaned once a day, and that staff can request additional cleaning supplies if desired.

Students and staff will also have access to on-site COVID-19 testing if they request it.

DSUSD updates a COVID-19 dashboard daily. It lists current active cases and quarantines in the district. According to the dashboard, the district has had a total of 335 cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.

The DSUSD COVID-19 dashboard can be found at datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/67225219-1d72-413c-97b2-04feae45f1dd/page/cmYEC.

The DSUSD COVID-19 safety document can be read at p18cdn4static.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_24405182/File/News/DSUSD_COVID_Safety_Plan_080821.pdf.

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