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Scottsbluff Public Schools make wearing masks optional

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - With only a couple of weeks left in school Scottsbluff Public Schools announces wearing masks is optional.

Scottsbluff Public Schools said the change in health directive measures by Governor Pete Ricketts the support of Panhandle Public Health District and Regional West helps make the decision possible.

“I brought this to our Board of Education and brought it to our school administrators at each of the schools,” said Rick Myles Superintendent Scottsbluff Public Schools. “I said basically here we are. Do you think we can go ahead and move away from the mask requirement? Every single voice was supportive.”

“We do the best to navigate this in a way that we think we’re preserving the integrity and importance of education,” said Myles. “Also, above all else the safety of our kids and based upon the direction of those who are experts in this field.”

Scotts Bluff County Health Officials said different forms of the virus are still out there and encourages residents to get the vaccine.

“The one thing that is out there that we’re just not sure about is that variant,” said Scotts Bluff County Health Director Paulette Schnell. “We’ve seen a few more of the different kinds of variants and the amount of variants being out there in Nebraska so that’s one thing we need to keep an eye on. I think the best things that we can do to return back to normal is to get that vaccination.”

“People need to keep in mind that they still could contract the virus,” said Schnell. “So taking the steps to wash your hands social distance and if you’re not going to wear a mask just be really mindful they need to still be aware that the virus is there.”

Scottsbluff Public Schools said they will monitor the situation day by day. The community has been supportive and they are looking to make masks optional for summer school.