Quarantine Pilot Project

Quarantine Pilot Project
Posted on 09/02/2021

9.24.21 Update
Beginning Tuesday, September 28th, Mason High School students will have an alternative to the current quarantine options. In collaboration with the Warren County Combined Health District and with assistance from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Mason City School District is participating in Ohio’s Test & Stay pilot program. This testing program will allow asymptomatic direct contacts to remain in school if they receive two negative rapid antigen tests and wear a face mask while inside school during their quarantine period. We plan to include MECC, ME, MI and MMS students in the pilot in the coming weeks.

Watch Superintendent Jonathan Cooper share details about the program, and how it will help keep healthy kids in school, and send sick kids home to get better.


ODH is providing our district with Abbot BinaxNow Rapid Antigen Professional Test kits and Abbott BinaxNOW At-Home Test kits. Families will be able to come to the Central Office and have their child tested by a nurse. Or, families may opt to test their child at home, and use a telehealth session to oversee test administration and result reporting. All families using the at-home test kit should follow the Ohio Department of Health User Guide: Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test Kit – User Guide.

Program Requirements

  • The pilot only applies to students who are direct contacts due to exposure at school, NOT through a community exposure, school-sponsored activity exposure, or from exposure at home.
  • Caregivers must sign the consent agreement and agree to only use the tests provided in the pilot. No tests from outside providers or primary care physicians will be permitted.  
  • Any student participating in the pilot must wear a multi-layer surgical style mask for the entire duration of the 7-day pilot period. On day 8, following the last day of exposure, the student defaults to their school’s masking policy.  
  • While in the pilot, students are ineligible to participate in athletics or extracurriculars because they are still considered under “quarantine.”
  • Students must remain symptom-free throughout the duration of the pilot.

We are very grateful to our Warren County Commissioners for funding an additional MCS school nurse to help with testing and pilot implementation. 

9.1.2021 Update
Over the last 16 months, Mason City Schools leaders have remained relentlessly committed to keeping students safe and in school. We have built systems to collect and analyze our COVID data, and recognized for over a year the burden that quarantine puts on our students, their families, and our educators. We hate that quarantines socially isolate students from their learning community which negatively impacts students’ mental health. Educators struggle with the disruption to the learning environment as healthy students sit at home during quarantine. We are saddened by the divide that we see happening in our community.

As we learn to live with COVID-19, we know we need to have better systems for keeping healthy kids in school, and sick kids at home. Superintendent Jonathan Cooper and the superintendents from the 10 other Warren County school districts are working with the Ohio Department of Health to pilot a new multi-tiered, modified quarantine strategy that will utilize a testing protocol at school. The testing protocol will allow district officials to make decisions based on more objective data in order to keep healthy kids at school and sick kids at home. 

Watch Superintendent Jonathan Cooper share how the pilot project will help quarantines be more data-driven and strategic.


What Stays the Same?
Mason City Schools will continue to require students to wear face masks in grades PK-6. In grades 7-12 face masks are strongly recommended. 

In alignment with ODH guidelines, students who are wearing face masks or are vaccinated are not subject to quarantine. Students who are unvaccinated and not wearing a mask and have been identified as a close contact may quarantine for 10 days at home, or return to school  on day 8 with proof of a negative test on day 5, 6, or 7.

We will share more information about the pilot as we receive more guidance and clarity from the Ohio Department of Health. Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that the only thing that always remains the same is that things change. We remain committed to sharing changes with you -  as soon as we know them.

Thank you for all you do to help keep our Comet Community safe & strong!

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