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Turner USD 202 reports fewer students quarantined since implementing mask requirement

turner usd 202
Posted at 12:23 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 13:23:09-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Fewer students have been quarantined since the Turner USD 202 Board of Education implemented a mask requirement, a district spokesperson told KSHB 41 News Monday.

The district's board voted unanimously last week to require masks in all district facilities after a number of positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines occurred just six days into the school year.

The new requirement went into affect Thursday, and since then Director of Public Relations Lauren Aiello said the district has "experienced a significant decrease in close contacts and quarantines."

Since Tuesday, Aiello said 15 new COVID-19 cases have been added district-wide.

Because of the masking policy, the new cases are resulting in fewer quarantines.

Aiello said school nurses in the district continue to conduct contact tracing. Rapid testing is also available to students who exhibit symptoms with consent from a parent or guardian.

It's possible students could still be quarantined if in close contact with a positive case during a time when they are not required to wear a mask, such as at lunch.

Previously, Turner's back-to-school plan "strongly recommended" masks inside schools and other district buildings.

Aiello said around 80% of kids at the elementary level wore masks under that policy. Still, a high number of unmasked, unvaccinated individuals resulted in 27 positive cases and dozens of quarantines in just the first six days of school.

Monday, Aiello said the safety of Turner students and staff remains the district's top priority, and the district will continue to be diligent with contract tracing under the new mask requirement.

Student-athletes have "flexibility" in the policy while participating in a sport. Other exemptions will be made only for medical reasons signed off on by a doctor.