Students and staff at the Sweetwater Union High School School District (SUHSD) who attend summer school programs or participate in extracurricular activities will need to wear masks while indoors with updated precautionary guidance.
The announcement came in response to a six-fold increase of coronavirus cases in the district following Spring break. District officials reported that before Spring break, there were only 30 COVID cases reported per week on SUHSD campuses, and case rates within school and county case rates were below seven total cases per 100,000 divided over a week.
The most recent case rates on SUHSD campuses from May 9-15 were approximately 25, with a current projection of closer to 40 total cases per 100,000 divided over a week. District officials said that Spring break had more recent cases reported per week on campus than at any time during the Delta variant surge at the end of last summer in 2021.
“We recognize that the temporary return to required masking may be frustrating. During summer all school-sponsored activities or activities on our campuses, including summer school, summer bridge, and extracurricular activities, are voluntary and as such, you are welcome to opt your children out of participating if they are unwilling or unable to wear masks,” district officials wrote in a statement.
The district said it will reassess the data and make appropriate COVID-19 protocols to implement at the start of the 2022-2023 school year by July 13.
Last week, Superintendent Jose Espinoza of the South Bay Union School District issued a statement announcing the return of mandatory masking for year-end ceremonies and events. District officials with the San Diego Unified School District announced last month that it may reinstate its local indoor mask mandate at least 14 days through the end of the school year and into its summer session, depending on risk levels at individual schools.
“While this is not the rapid surge we saw in January, it is still a concern and a trend that we expect to continue,” San Diego Unified wrote in a statement.