Omaha Public Schools to require masks when classes start

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s largest public school district will require students to wear masks indoors when they return to classrooms next week.

The Omaha Public Schools board voted 8-1 Monday to require all people to wear masks indoors at school, effective Tuesday. The resolution made note of recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending universal masking for all teachers staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools in an effort to fight the growing spread of COVID-19 cases, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The resolution won’t require masks to be worn outdoors or while eating and drinking. Teachers and staff may also shuck the mask if they’re alone in their classrooms or offices.


“We have an issue in this country with a variant,” board member Tracy Casady said during the Monday meeting. “Until we can get a handle on it, I think this is the best possible solution we can do in our community to try to get our kids back in school and keep them there.”

Board member Spencer Head was the lone vote against the mask resolution and tried unsuccessfully to have the mask mandate sunset Oct. 18, unless the board took action before then to extend it.

The Omaha district joins a growing number of Nebraska school districts — including Lincoln, Grand Island, Ralston and Westside — requiring face mask when school starts this fall. Several others — including Millard, Papillion-La Vista and Bellevue school districts — are staying with plans to make masks optional.