Masks no longer mandatory for GPS students, staff; strongly recommended

Guthrie Public Schools is dropping their mandatory wearing of masks while inside buildings for students and staff, but still required on school buses. The district says the decision comes after recent data for COVID infection rates in Logan County.

The change becomes effective on Monday, April 5.

“With a majority of our staff receiving the vaccination and the low infection numbers for Logan County, it is a sign that we hopefully have the worst of this pandemic behind us,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said through a press release.

The school district states that wearing a mask while indoors when social distancing isn’t possible remains a strong recommendation.

All students and staff will still required to complete a daily screening prior to entering a building or boarding a school bus that includes a temperature check.

The decision comes after spring break.

“I was most concerned about a post-spring break spike that did not occur,” Simpson said. “Many protocols will remain in place such as assigned seating and vigilant sanitization.”

Any visitors to district buildings will still be required to wear a mask.

Simpson added that a recent federal mandate that requires masks to be worn while in a school bus. Also, there was a clarification that while on board a bus face shields are not an acceptable substitute for a mask.

“The only substantial difference in our setting from when we began the school year will be on school buses due to the recent federal mandate,” Simpson said.

Additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control allow for staff or students who are symptom free and beyond a ten day period of receiving their full COVID vaccinations to be exempt from quarantine if they are exposed to a positive COVID case.

Simpson made caution saying that the change does not remove personal responsibility and that an uptick in cases would bring back the mask mandate.


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