State Supt. urging masks to be worn following death of school-aged child

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Oklahoma’s first COVID-19 related pediatric death over the weekend. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister is asking Oklahomans to wear a mask to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

“This heartbreaking tragedy (of the COVID-19-related death of a school-aged child) underscores how important it is for us all to wear masks when in public,  follow social distancing guidelines and practice good hygiene,” said Hofmeister in a release. 

Guthrie Public Schools will meet Monday evening to go over their back to school plan. Related article: Guthrie Public Schools unveils proposed back-to-school plan

The proposed plan by the school district calls for the encouragement of masks being worn when social distancing of six feet or more isn’t possible.

Hofmeister says it is important for children, teachers and staff to be able to go to school knowing that strong safeguards are in place for their safety and well-being.

“Students need to learn. We want schools to reopen this fall, but for that to happen, it is critical that Oklahomans take decisive actions now to mitigate spread of the virus. Wearing a mask around other people is a small sacrifice for the sake of literally saving lives.”

Hofmeister acknowledged that some parents might find distance learning to be a preferable course of action. She commended many school districts that are providing such options for their families. 

Last year, Guthrie Schools opened their Bluejay Academy to students across the school district. Related article: GPS expanding into online virtual education with Bluejay Academy

“School is vital, especially after the significant learning loss from last spring’s building closures,” she said. “At the same time, we must take every precaution to protect our children and those who serve in schools across this state.”

Related article: GPS encouraging all families to explore adding home internet


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