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GIPS requiring masks indoors for sporting events

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 8:55 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Schools with mask mandates are heading into the fall sports season, so what does this mean for players, fans and coaches? Grand Island Public Schools is requiring them in the classroom but not for outdoor sports.

“Our participants, the athletes, the performers, will not be required to wear masks,” Associate Superintendent Robin Dexter told Local4 News.

But fans will have to wear them inside.

“If you want to come and be a spectator inside, you will have to mask up,” Dexter said.

And if they refuse.

“We’ll ask them again. If they refuse, then we’ll just close down the activity and send everybody home,” Dexter said.

The district is being a lot more lenient than they were last year because athletes, coaches and spectators were all required to wear masks.

“We know how hard it is for students to participate in activities with masks on, so we’re going to go as far as we can without masks for participants but we are going to ask the audience, the spectators to mask up,” Dexter said.

Dr. Curtis Reimer, the team physician for Hastings High School and Hastings College, believes the only way for teams to have an uninterrupted season is by getting vaccinated.

“If you have someone on the team that gets infected and they might miss one to three weeks and people sitting on the bus might miss a week or ten days as well, so it’s really important to prevent that,” Reimer said.

If a whole bunch of players do test positive, Dexter told Local4 News they’ll just have to sit out and quarantine until they get better but she also agrees with Dr. Reimer in students getting vaccinated.

“We really encourage our kids, 12 and older, to get vaccinated and that will help all of us to be able to continue to play, participate in activities and performing arts.”

The district is following guidance from the NSAA and the Central District Health Department when making decisions. Their mask policies are always subject to change depending on case and transmission rates.

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