USD 480 to Require Masks for Students and Staff

Joe Denoyer - January 14, 2022 12:44 pm

At a special meeting Friday, January 14, the USD 480 Board of Education voted unanimously to approve requiring masks throughout the district as well as following the new Center for Disease Control’s guidelines on quarantine and isolation as adopted by the Seward County Health Department. For all school activities, USD 480 will follow the guidelines set forth by KSHSAA.


“With the new guidelines adopted by the Seward County Health Department, we have the opportunity to reduce by 50% the number of in-person learning days students and staff miss because of COVID illness and quarantine,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Carter.


Beginning January 17, 2022 all of USD 480 will be required to wear masks while in any building. The new CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation include a reduction to five (5) days of isolation followed by five (5) days of wearing a mask for anyone who tests positive.


“USD 480 health staff and Seward County Health Department staff met to discuss implementation of the new guidelines,” Carter said. “Given the current high case numbers and positivity rates in the district and community, there is a risk of increasing positive case numbers with the reduction in isolation time and quarantine unless the mask requirement for students and staff returning to school is done with fidelity.”


The USD 480 Board of Education, in order to prevent closing schools and moving to remote learning, made the decision to implement a temporary mask requirement. The mask requirement will be revisited at the second board meeting in February after reviewing both county and district COVID cases.


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