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Here are the mask policies and other COVID protocols for central Ohio school districts

With health leaders strongly recommending masks for the upcoming school year, school districts in central Ohio are updating their COVID-19 guidelines.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With COVID-19 cases on the rise due to the infectious spreading delta variant, the Ohio Department of Health said it "strongly recommends" unvaccinated students and staff wear masks when classes resume.

Some local health agencies are recommending universal masking.

RELATED: READ: Ohio Department of Health releases full COVID-19 guidance for 2021-22 school year

An order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires masks to be worn on all public transportation, including school buses, until at least Sept. 13.

Below is a collection of the latest mask and social distancing policies for school districts in central Ohio. 

*Last updated: Aug. 26

Bexley City Schools

  • Current health guidance: Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, other than those who may be exempted by district administration per CDC guidelines.

Big Walnut Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks are strongly recommended. Masks may be required if an outbreak is identified in a classroom or building.

Buckeye Valley Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: Strongly recommends that those who are not vaccinated wear face masks while in school. Masks may be required if an outbreak is identified in a classroom or a building.

Canal Winchester Local Schools

Chillicothe City Schools

  • Current health guidance: All staff and students, whether vaccinated or not, are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while in school.

Circleville City Schools

Columbus City Schools

  • Current health guidance: Students and staff are required to wear masks inside buildings. Social distancing will be practiced when it can and school visitors are restricted to parents and guardians. 

Coshocton City Schools

  • Current health guidance: TBD

Delaware City Schools

  • Current health guidance: The school district is requiring students, staff and guests to wear masks when the county fails two or more factors on Critical Factor Report Card published by the county's health department.

Dublin City Schools

  • Current health guidance: All pre-K through eighth-grade students will be required to wear masks indoors to start the school year. Staff will be asked to wear masks if they cannot socially distance themselves from students. 

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools

  • Current health guidance: The school district updated its guidance on Aug. 27, requiring all students, teachers and staff to wear masks indoors.

Grandview Heights Schools 

  • Current health guidance: All staff and students in kindergarten through 12th grade wear a mask during the school day and masking for all indoor school events. The school board will revisit the requirement on Nov. 11.

Groveport Madison Schools

  • Current health guidance: The district is strongly recommending masks indoors. Social distancing of three to six feet will be implemented. 

Hamilton Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: The school district recommends masks for unvaccinated students inside all buildings. The district says it will be mindful of each area the students are in throughout the school day. 

Heath City Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks are encouraged but optional for students and staff members. Students will be socially distanced as much as possible from other students.

Hilliard City Schools

  • Current health guidance: All students, staff, and visitors in all schools will be required to wear masks when inside school buildings beginning Sept. 7.

Jonathan Alder Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks are optional inside and outside school buildings. Students will be socially distanced three to six feet when possible. 

Lancaster City Schools 

  • Current health guidance: Masks and social distancing are recommended. 

Licking Heights Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks and social distancing are recommended.

Logan-Hocking School District

London City Schools

Madison Plains Local Schools

Marysville Exempted Village School District

Marion City Schools

Mount Vernon City Schools

New Albany-Plain Local Schools

Newark City Schools

Olentangy Local Schools

  • Current health guidance: The district updated its guidance on Aug. 20, requiring masks for Pre-K-8 students and staff working at those schools. High school students and staff working there are "strongly recommended" to wear masks. 

Pickerington Local School District

  • Current health guidance: The district updated its guidance on Aug. 13, requiring K-6 students to wear masks. Grades 7-12 are "strongly encouraged" to wear masks.

Reynoldsburg City Schools 

  • Current health guidance: Masks required for all students and staff indoors.

Southwest Licking Local Schools 

South-Western City Schools

  • Current health guidance: The school district updated its guidance on Aug. 20, requiring Pre-K-6 students and staff working in those schools to wear masks. Grades 7-12 and staff working in those schools are "strongly recommended" to wear masks.

Upper Arlington Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks are not required but recommended for the school year. Social distancing is also recommended. 

Westerville City Schools

  • Current health guidance: All students and staff will be required to wear masks indoors when the school year resumes, regardless of vaccination status. 

Whitehall City Schools

  • Current health guidance: Masks are required for Pre-K-8 students and staff working at those schools. High school students and staff working there are "strongly recommended" to wear masks.

Worthington Schools

  • Current health guidance: All kindergarten through 12th-grade students, parents and staff will be required to wear masks indoors starting Aug. 25.

COVID-19 in Ohio: Recent Coverage ⬇️