Harrisburg school district makes masks optional, stops contact tracing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Masks will be optional for schools, district buildings and buses in the Harrisburg School District starting Wednesday, March 16.

In a letter sent to parents and staff, Superintendent Eric Turman says the change comes after two straight weeks of “low” COVID-19 case counts for Dauphin County and new CDC guidance.

Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for abc27 newsletters here.

“We will be closely monitoring the number of cases, and if there are significant increases in positivity rates, or if Dauphin County’s COVID-19 cases increase to a MODERATE level for two consecutive weeks, the District will require new that masks be worn in all schools and administrative buildings.

The district says it will always use the following mitigation strategies:
• Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who are in close contact with a positive case and exhibit symptoms will still be required to self-quarantine.
• Students and staff stay home if they are sick.
• Air filtration units in operation in all buildings/classrooms and electrostatic disinfection machines are
still used too.
• Students should continue to practice good hygiene and wash their hands.

Due to declining rates of COVID-19, the district is no longer tracking close contacts or requiring quarantine for potential exposure.

People who are in close contact with a positive case but do not have symptoms of COVID-19 will not be excluded from school or school activities.