COVID restrictions lessened as students return from February break

Hadley Carr

As cases decrease across DCPS, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee reduced COVID restrictions within schools. 

Students, staff, and visitors will no longer be required to wear a mask outdoors. Additionally, there is no longer a cap on audience and spectators at sporting events, art performances, and showcases.

Wilson’s current COVID cases are notably lower than they were in January when 125 students tested positive. Six Wilson students and three staff members tested positive upon the return to school from February break.

Wilson also recently received a COVID contact tracer to alleviate the pressure on the administration to contact the school community regarding positive cases. “We are relieved that we have a contact tracer. She will be sending out the letters [to the community] and putting the [cases] into the system,” Interim Principal Gregory Bargeman said. 

Bargeman reported no pushback from the Wilson community regarding the relaxed safety measures. 

Prior to being allowed to return to school Monday, students were required to submit a negative test. This DCPS “test-to-return” policy was also utilized after winter break. On the Friday before February break, students were given a rapid antigen test. Students uploaded their results to the DC Health Database 24 hours before returning on February 28. 

Students and staff who tested positive for COVID were required to quarantine for seven days. 

According to Director of Strategy and Logistics Brandon Hall, the test-to-return process will also take place following spring break. 

In an email to DCPS families, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee wrote, “We will continue to robustly implement our health and safety measures while making the appropriate adjustments to reflect the reduced number of positive cases we are seeing.” 

Given the drop in cases at Wilson, Bargeman is hopeful that the indoor mask mandate will be lifted before the end of the year.