Superior Schools require masks for all students, staff, visitors

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After seven school days without masks, Superior elementary school students will again be required to wear masks starting Wednesday, along with middle and high school students and all staff and visitors.

The district had dropped a requirement for elementary students to wear masks after winter break since they had become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Older students had not been required to wear masks this school year since they were already eligible for the vaccine.

The district had reported five students and one staff member with positive COVID-19 tests in the short week before winter break. In the week after break, 65 student cases and 20 staff cases were reported, which the district said is a result of COVID exposure over the break.

In a message Tuesday, the district said its priority continues to be keeping in-person learning open for all students. It said the new mask requirement is an effort to be proactive.

"Our original COVID response plan indicates that mitigation strategies would be revised after 2-3 weeks of data to allow for an accurate picture of trends. However, given what has occurred across the country regarding the new Omicron variant, rates are predicted to continue to increase in our community and it is likely we have not seen the peak in cases yet," the district wrote.

The district said it is experiencing high staff and student absence rates.