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LPS makes changes to mask policy

Masks required for PreK-5, recommended for 6-12
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 1:27 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On the heels of the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department announcing it will let the indoor mask mandate expire on Thursday, Lincoln Public Schools has made changes to its mask requirements.

Beginning Friday, Dec. 24 face coverings will be strongly recommended instead of required inside middle and high school buildings. Face coverings will still be required inside elementary school buildings.

However, masks will be required for everyone in a middle or high school building for two weeks if 10% or more of its population is absent due to illness. This requirement will be communicated to families through email, phone calls and the LPS website.

Face coverings are required on buses regardless of grade level.

The full pandemic plan can be found on the LPS website: lps.org/safereturn. Comments on the updates can be shared through the feedback form on the website.

LPS said it will review community conditions and vaccination rates with the health department by Jan. 30 to determine if the elementary face covering protocols will continue. According to an LPS news release, “By then, anyone wishing to have their child fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have an opportunity to do so.”

LPS said it will notify families and staff through email if there is a positive COVID-19 case within their school building but it will no longer contact trace school day close contacts at the middle and high school levels.

“The best way to reduce the chance of being a high-risk close contact is to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to continue wearing a face covering inside all buildings. If a high-risk close contact is identified, families will receive a phone call with instructions from the health office.”

Lincoln Public Schools

A high-risk close contact is an unvaccinated individual who has been within 6 feet of the positive case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more and one or both persons were not wearing a face covering. A positive COVID-19 case begins 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms, or test date if the positive case is asymptomatic.

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