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KPS raises risk dial to orange; enforcing stricter rules as a result

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 6:50 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney Public Schools raised their risk dial to the orange category on Friday, and administrators will be tightening the reins to keep kids safe amidst the rise in cases.

“We want to be responsive to the area, the county, the city and we see the dramatic changes that are occuring or the trending of the positive cases of COVID-19 in our area," KPS Superintendent Kent Edwards said.

KPS will be increasing sanitization and cleaning, and will be enforcing stricter rules on lunches and recess. They will also be staggering times during end of school dismissal, and decreasing the amount of transitions in the hallways and common spaces. The district is also limiting the amount of people at sporting events to 25% which includes participants and staff needed to run the event. They also changed rules for specific sports and school buildings.

“While we’re not experiencing those in the Kearney school system with students and really our staff, there’s no school spread,” Edwards said. “Eventually our worry is that it may eventually impact us from the greater city of Kearney and get into the school system.”

The district is being proactive because they think it’s important for kids to stay in school.

“We feed our students. It’s important that they have the nutrition," Edwards said. "We have social and emotional issues. Young people tend to be very social and it’s important to them obviously. We also attend to their health needs.”

Officials believe students can stay in school, parents can go to work, and we can have a functional society, only if the entire community follows health guidelines and do their part to control the spread of the virus.

“I’m going to ask all of us to do our part. While we may not want to, in the long game it’s going to prove beneficial to all of us,” Edwards said. "We need to be understanding that this is a challenge we’re going to go through it together and the quicker that we do that. I really believe we can return to what we use to have.”

The COVID-19 Blueprint can be found on the the KPS website with risk dial information.

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