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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's administration recommends universal masking in schools

Gov. Laura Kelly
Posted at 12:48 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 15:34:22-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration released a new guidance document that includes new COVID-19 recommendations for schools.

The document was put together by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They are now recommending that all students and staff wear masks while inside schools.

They do not recommend masking while outside, but do recommend masks stay on while on buses or other school transportation.

The document also called attention to vaccination as the most helpful COVID-19 prevention strategy, asked schools to prioritize hygienic information that could help prevent the spread of the virus, like hand washing, and advised that schools work out ways to test students for the virus.

Schools are advised to implement social distancing when possible.

Kansas City-area school districts have been mixed in their masking approach.

Prior to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidelines this week for indoor mask wearing in school settings, the Blue Valley School District announced it will not require students to mask up. The Olathe School District has yet to formally consider their masking policy for the upcoming school year, though both districts could revise their positions during school board meetings scheduled for early August.

The Shawnee Mission School District is moving forward with mask requirements for elementary-aged students. In the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District, all students will be required to wear masks.

After a positive COVID-19 test is received, the school should immediately clean the areas where the person sat and notify close contacts, who may need to quarantine at varying levels depending on the extent of exposure.

More information about the COVID-19 guidance summary can be found on KDHE's website.