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Omaha’s Westside school district will require masks for elementary students, staff

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Westside Community Schools will be requiring masks for students and staff at its elementary schools when classes begin in just a couple of weeks.

Westside Superintendent Dr. Lucas said they are sticking with the policy they now worked last year, mandating masks, he said, is in the best interest of keeping young children not eligible to get the COVID vaccine safe.

The school district will reevaluate the policy on September 17, one month into the new school year. The clock is ticking on the beginning of the school year as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in the area.

School districts across the Omaha-metro are facing a decision about mask rules in the classroom when students return in a matter of weeks.

Westside Community Schools made the call to wear masks at its board meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas was expected to give recommendations on the COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming year. All eyes will be on what he has to say about masks: Will he keep them optional or require them — like last year — for students, teachers, and staff.

Last week, the CDC put out updated guidance on masks, calling on anyone entering a K-12 school this fall to mask up. The American Academy of Pediatrics said the same thing.

As for other Omaha-area school districts: Omaha, Millard, Elkhorn, Bellevue, and Bennington are planning to begin the school year without requiring students and staff to wear a mask.

Read the school district’s ‘Safe Return’ plan

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