ETHS to offer mask choice for students and staff starting Feb. 28


Daily file photo by Onyekaorise Chigbogwu

Evanston Township High School. ETHS announced it will end its mask mandate after Feb. 28.

Avani Kalra, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Township High School District 202 will not mandate masks while indoors after Feb. 28, the district announced Tuesday. 

Though ETHS still “highly recommends” wearing masks, administrators attributed the change to a decline in COVID-19 cases at the high school level and within the larger community. The district said the COVID positivity rate for the school remains less than .5%, while 94% of ETHS students and 95% of ETHS staff members have submitted proof of vaccination. 

The statement acknowledged the pandemic is not over, but cited the decline in the district’s cases to support the decision. 

ETHS will continue to implement daily cleaning and sanitizing, maximize air exchange, maintain off-campus lunch for all students and continue contact tracing efforts and limited capacity at school events. 

The district will require students to test every other week. Tests will still be available for students and staff who wish to test weekly. 

ETHS added that it will continue to consider next steps given a “lack of clarity and fluidity” about state mandates. The district said it will continue to consult guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, Evanston Health Department, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and the ETHS Medical Advisory Group. 

“ETHS is prepared to make a safe transition as strategies evolve,” the school said in its release. “We will continue to take a cautious and measured approach.” 

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