Lufkin ISD to Require Masks for the Remainder of School Year
Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres has released a public health statement concerning what protocols will be enacted in response to Governor Abbott's Executive Order concerning mask mandates. Here is that statement from Torres:
"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. 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.”
Lufkin ISD recognizes that our protocols have kept us safe and able to keep our schools open. In our protocols related to COVID-19, masks remain a vital part of the safety, protection of our students, and the mitigation of the spread of the disease 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. 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.
We will remain vigilant and will enforce our procedures in order to keep everyone safe.
When looking ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, we will consider the vaccination rate and the prevailing conditions in our area to make a decision about our continuing COVID-19 protocols. 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."
A number of other school districts have indicated that they will be releasing guidance on their respective policies over the next few days.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.