New AMS Mask Policy Effective Immediately
In accordance with CDC recommendations based on new evidence on the Delta variant, Asheville Music School is requiring masks in public areas around the school for all teachers, students, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. In a one-on-one private lesson, if both the teacher and student are vaccinated, masks may be removed if both parties agree. Here is a link to the CDC’s updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
Important Info from NCDHHS COVID Response Team
After months of decline, North Carolina is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among those who are unvaccinated. The Delta variant, which is now the predominant strain of the COVID-19 virus in North Carolina, is significantly more contagious than the original virus. While the original virus spread from one person to an average of two or three people, the Delta variant is spreading from one person to an average of six people. Therefore, unvaccinated people are at greater risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, and they pose a risk to children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated and those who are immunocompromised.
Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death, and slow community spread. Rigorous clinical trials among thousands of people ages 12 and older, have proven that vaccines are safe and effective.
Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools from CDC
- Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
- Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
- Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
- In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
- Screening testing, ventilation, hand washing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
- Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
- Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
- Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).