NPS loosens mask requirements, mirroring new state guidelines

NORFOLK, Neb. -- Facemask requirements are being loosened for students at Norfolk Public Schools, mirroring new guidelines at the state level. The school district sent an email to parents Tuesday stating that students no longer need to wear masks outdoors after the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services released new COVID-19 guidelines.

NPS Superintendent Jami Jo Thompson said in the email that DHHS guidelines indicate students should wear masks indoors but are not required to wear them outside unless they have been exposed to COVID-19.

The email indicated that if a student is identified as a close contact, they are required to wear a face mask, practice social distancing and self-monitor for symptoms for two weeks while attending school.

The new guideline mean NPS students will now be allowed to participate in recess, physical education or other school activities outside without wearing a face mask, effective Wednesday.

“If parents want their child to wear a face mask during these times, they need to communicate that expectation with their child,” Thompson said in the email.

Thompson said the school district will continue to monitor new guidelines from the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department, state and national health officials in an effort to keep protocols up to date.
 “I am hopeful that our COVID cases will continue to decrease so that we are able to consider reducing and/or eliminating some of our current restrictions," Thompson said.