Mask guidance for schools not changing as kids 12 and up get vaccines

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The state board of education said mask guidance will not be changing for Kansas schools.

A spokesperson confirmed in an email to the Kansas Capitol Bureau this week.

“Our guidance to districts regarding masks remains unchanged,” Ann Bush, spokesperson for the state department of education wrote.

According to the board’s guidance, visitors, staff, and students should be required to wear masks or cloth face coverings while inside school facilities unless it inhibits the person’s ability to perform their job. Mask wearing is also required in spaces where social distancing is not possible.

This comes as students ages 12-15 are now eligible to receive vaccines. Some schools have opened on-site vaccination clinics to make the vaccine more accessible to the community.

“You’ll see families coming through, where they’re getting it as a family unit. The parents and the children together getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools.

Anderson toured a vaccination site at Topeka High School on Monday, debuting one of the state’s first clinics aimed specifically at kids.

As of Wednesday, CDC data shows 44.9% of Kansans have had their first shot, with the state reporting more than 20,000 children under 18 getting vaccinated.

Dr. Anderson said she’s hoping the increased number of vaccinations will allow for a smooth return when kids get back from Summer break.

“All of our students will be able to be vaccinated the last day of school before they ever go on vacation or summer break,” she said. “We all have a responsibility to do our part in slowing down the COVID spread.”

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