Local News

McHenry High School District 156 starting year with masks optional

Move follows similar decision by feeder elementary system, Mchenry School District 15

McHenry High School District 156 will not require masks of to be worn by its students for start of the upcoming academic year, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Superintendent Ryan McTague said in a Friday message.

The decision to make face coverings optional follows a presentation of the same plan this week by McHenry Elementary School District 15.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended unvaccinated people wear masks in schools, but has said they are unnecessary for vaccinated people. It

Unvaccinated students identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case will be required to quarantine by public health restrictions. Vaccinated students will not have to quarantine if in close contact.

Everyone has to wear a mask on school buses, according to a state requirement.

Classroom and common area seating will be spaced 3 feet apart whenever possible, and students should maintain social distance in hallways and common areas, the district said.

“If we begin to experience an escalation [of COVID-19] that extends outside of the CDC or [McHenry County Department of Health] threshold, or an outbreak occurs in our buildings or community, we may have to adjust our mitigation efforts and strategies in response,” McTague said.

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.