Springfield Public Schools brings back masking requirement for students, staff through July 30
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Face masks are required for Springfield Public Schools students and staff once again through at least July 30, the district announced Tuesday.
Students and staff will be required to wear masks for the rest of the July session of the Explore summer school program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district made the decision after consulting with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and evaluating a variety of community health factors.
“In our ongoing evaluation of pandemic-related data, and in anticipation of a continued surge related to holiday gatherings over the July 4 holiday, we recommended that SPS implement these additional steps through the end of July,” said Katie Towns, interim director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. “We appreciate our partnership with SPS and their willingness to adapt their protocols to best serve the public as positive cases, hospitalizations and related deaths continue to increase. It is our hope that the public will take this opportunity to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from preventable illness.”
The masking requirement will be in effect July 7-30. Masks will be provided for SPS students who do not have one.
SPS says the following considerations led to the decision:
- An increase in COVID-19 positive cases among SPS students and staff throughout Explore Session 1 in June.
- A current surge in COVID-19 positive cases in the community and region, many related to the Delta variant.
- A current surge in local hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19.
- An anticipated surge later this week from July 4 holiday celebrations.
- Ongoing low vaccination rates for Greene County – currently at 38.97 percent.
“SPS will continue to evaluate data, in close collaboration with the health department, to determine any need for adjustments to this protocol after July 30. More information about masking and other health and safety guidance will be provided at that time,” said Dr. Grenita Lathan, Springfield Public Schools superintendent. “We thank the public for understanding of our need to adapt protocols, as the pandemic continues to impact our community, in order to help ensure the health and safety of all those we serve. It is our hope that immediate, proactive efforts will positively impact our community.”
A decision about whether masking will be required beyond July 30 will be made closer to the first day of the 2021-2022 school year, according to the district.
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