NPPS explains elevated risk on the COVID-19 Risk Dial

North Platte Public Schools will require masks for students, staff and visitors this school year.
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 8:03 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte Public Schools students are heading back to class next week for the first time since March.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the West Central District Health Department District plus other factors, the COVID-19 Risk Dial is in the ‘orange’ phase. The school district is adjusting to the new dial.

“We released our plan four weeks ago and we were low moderate, and you go back four weeks there wasn’t much activity here in North Platte or the West Central District Health Department, but since that time look what’s going on in our community,” said Superintendent Dr. Ron Hanson.

Hanson says masks will now be required for students, staff and visitors this school year.

“We have internal factors that our district pays attention to: the number of students and staff that test positive or who are in quarantine, the number of students with first and secondary exposures if those are high in our district we are still going to enforce safety protocols that might be different in our community,” Dr. Hanson said.

About 100 students of the school district’s 3,800 students have applied to learn remotely this upcoming school year. Students will be allowed to participate in school activities as long as they meet all Nebraska Schools Activities Association regulations.

Hanson says the school district has no plans to shut down the schools and is is asking for the community’s help to keep schools open.

“We all need to do our part,” Hanson said. “The governor has been saying this over and over; physical distance yourself, avoid close contacts, wear face coverings when appropriate. It’s appropriate when we are in school that has that many students, its appropriate to have face coverings on.”

The North Platte Public School Foundation received a $35,000 private donation to provide tutoring to students. Contact the foundation office at (308) 696-3325 for more information.

Transportation will still be provided to students. However, parents are strongly encouraged to have a plan B in place.

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