LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin ISD students and staff will continue to wear face masks, officials with the district say.
Assistant Superintendent Daniel Spikes tells us the district will not recommend formal action for the board, because it is premature, and the masks are working.
Spikes says it allows students to stay in school and helps mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.
“I just want to reiterate that nothing has changed for us,” Spikes added. “We will continue business as usual until the remainder of the year unless things change, such as we get more people vaccinated and we continue to see the decline in the spread of COVID-19. At that time we will reassess. But formally, we are not looking to reassess anything until the end of the year.”
Spikes says the district needs time for the educators to receive their vaccines.
(PREVIOUS) Lufkin ISD schools will continue its mask requirement even after Gov. Greg Abbott’s order lifting the statewide mask mandate.
“Yesterday schools across Texas received revised public health guidance from the Texas Education Agency regarding the governor’s new executive order and the operation of school systems during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres said in a statement released Thursday. “Our challenge remains to provide notice, prevent, respond and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Masks remain a requirement for schools. The only change to the mask requirement is that “the governing body of a school system may modify or eliminate by formal action the mask-related requirements.”
Torres said masks remain a “vital part” of the school district’s COVID-19 safety protocols “until the population can be vaccinated.”
“Yesterday the federal government mandated that all states immediately add all school personnel to the eligibility list for the vaccine. The Texas Department of State Health Services complied. We will encourage our staff to get the vaccine as soon as they can,” Torres said. “Until our numbers decrease in the area and people are able to be vaccinated, the administration of Lufkin ISD will not ask the Board of Trustees to remove this mask requirement for the remainder of the school year. To do so would be premature and put our students and staff at risk for the spread of the virus.”
Regarding the 2021-2022 school year and the implementation of COVID-19 protocols, Torres said Lufkin ISD will consider the vaccination rate and prevailing conditions in the area before making a decision on how to proceed.
“The Board of Trustees will consider this decision. Until then, we ask that you remain committed to keeping yourself and your students safe by complying with our procedures,” Torres said.