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Hutchinson School District announces indoor mask mandate

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 12:27 PM CDT
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) - Hutchinson Public Schools will require all students, staff, and visitors to wear a mask indoors for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

The district said it will not be checking temperatures, but recommends families practice home-symptom screenings before coming to school. It also is not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine but is encouraging all who are eligible to receive it.

“District leadership has been researching and receiving input from various medical and state agencies over the past few weeks, and have determined district protocol in response to the prevalence of the Delta Variant in Reno County,” said USD 308 Superintendent Mike Folks in a release. “The Delta Variant has been found to be easily transmitted and prone to cause serious health issues in young people.”

Parent Zuly Castaneda says while mask-wearing isn’t ideal, her children understand the importance.

“With my preschooler, he knows he needs to have it on, but he’ll start playing with it, taking it off. But I feel like the older they get, they understand a little more.”

She said of her older son, “He understood. I was just like the safety of his grandparents and everything. He understood, he actually wanted to keep it on.”

The district said the changes are to keep students in the classroom, limit future last-minute changes and provide the most normal learning experience possible.

The Hutchinson Board of Education still has to approve the new COVID-19 protocols at a meeting on Aug. 9.

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