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More Johnson County high schools are bringing back mask rules as students catch COVID

All 11 middle and high schools in Shawnee Mission, both high schools in USD 232 and at least four secondary buildings in Blue Valley, will all have mask rules in place on Monday, Jan. 10, due to high rates of COVID-19 transmission.
Shawnee Mission Post
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All 11 middle and high schools in Shawnee Mission, both high schools in USD 232 and at least four secondary buildings in Blue Valley, will all have mask rules in place on Monday, Jan. 10, due to high rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Soon after the start of the new semester, several school districts in Johnson County have re-instituted mask mandates after seeing high rates of COVID-19 transmission among students.

More Johnson County high schools will require masks in their buildings just days after the start of the new semester.

Entering Monday, Jan. 10 — the first full week of in-person classes of the new semester — here’s what we know:

All 11 middle and high schools will require masks on Monday, after starting the semester Wednesday with optional masking.

Nine of the district’s 11 secondary schools re-instituted mask policies after the first day of classes due to the high level transmission detected by testing.

The district confirmed Sunday that SM Northwest High School and Hocker Grove Middle School — the last two remaining secondary schools with optional masking in place — will also require masks starting Monday.

According to the district’s mitigation plan, middle and high schools will keep mask rules in place for 14 days or until the weekly percentage of students recommended for exclusion or quarantine due to a positive test or exposure to COVID-19 drops below 3% again.

The district announced over the weekend that its two high schools — De Soto and Mill Valley — would bring back mask rules starting Monday.

The district reports that 41 students at De Soto High are either in isolation or quarantine, representing 4.18% of the student body.

At Mill Valley, the district reports 76 students are in isolation or quarantine, 5.9% of the student body.

The reimposed mask rules will remain in place at USD 232’s high schools for at least 14 days and when the percentage of a school’s students in isolation and quarantine drops below 2% for two consecutive weeks, according to the district.

Districtwide, USD 232 reports a total of 423 students in isolation or quarantine, 5.75% of all students.

In a brief emailed statement Sunday, a Blue Valley district spokesperson confirmed several high schools in that district would be bringing back mask rules Monday.

Those schools include: Blue Valley North, Blue Valley Southwest, Blue Valley Academy (the district’s alternative school) and the district’s CAPS program.

This story was originally published on the Shawnee Mission Post.

Copyright 2022 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Kyle Palmer is KCUR’s morning newscaster. He’s a former teacher, so getting up early is nothing for him. Before moving to the classroom, Kyle earned a Journalism degree from Mizzou and worked as a reporter for Columbia’s NPR affiliate KBIA. He also did play-by-play for the Jefferson City High School football and basketball teams. He earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a radio documentary about Missouri’s New Madrid fault (it’s still there, people, and ready to blow!).