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Temporary masking returns for multiple GIPS schools

Temporary masking returns to multiple schools in the Grand Island Public Schools district.
Temporary masking returns to multiple schools in the Grand Island Public Schools district.(Hailey Mach, KSNB)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 1:12 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Seven schools in the Grand Island Public Schools district have instituted the temporary masking protocol as of Thursday morning.

Those schools are Grand Island Senior High, Barr, Walnut, Seedling Mile, the O’Conner Learning Center, West Lawn and Grand Island Senior High Skills.

According to the Safe Return to School Plan update on January 3, 2022, masking went from being required to recommended. Though it was subject to change if a certain threshold was not met.

These schools have reached and maintained an 8% or higher medical/illness-related absentee rate.

Communications Director Mitch Roush said these were medical-related absences. It’s not just COVID-related, but could be student or staff being out due to the flu or other illness.

According to the GIPS COVID dashboard, the most cases of COVID-19 were found at Grand Island Senior High in the last seven days.

On January 11, there were 605 students and 118 staff who were absent for the whole day within the district. That’s an increase from January 7, when there were 387 students and 100 staff members out for the day.

A letter sent to Grand Island Senior High parents stated that at this time, the in-person learning with continue.

Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover is expected to speak about the COVID situation within the district during Thursday’s GIPS School Board meeting. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Kneale Administration Building.

Local4 will be at the meeting and will bring updates.

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