Lincoln Public Schools to Require Masks for Younger Students

Aug. 5, 2021, 3:45 p.m. ·

Lincoln Public Schools superintendent Dr. Steve Joel
Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel at a Thursday briefing. (Photo from live stream)

Lincoln Public Schools will require masks for kindergarten through sixth grade students this semester as health officials monitor an increase in new cases of COVID-19. The updated back-to-school-plan is a reversal of an earlier plan that didn’t call for masks for students or teachers. At a press briefing Thursday, LPS Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel said the mask rules for older students are different.

“We are keeping face coverings as optional, as of today, for students in grades 7-12 who are vaccinated, and strongly recommend for those who are not vaccinated will be wearing a mask,” Joel said.

Dr. John Trapp is the Chief Medical Officer at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln and has consulted with the district about the updated plan. He said because children under 12 can’t get the COVID vaccine, the policy makes sense.

“These decisions are really made based on safety,” Trapp said. “Safety for everybody, not only the individuals who either are patients in our hospital or work in our hospital or work in schools, but for those who are most vulnerable.”

Classes at LPS start on August 16th. Most schooling will be in-person this year after a hybrid system last year that included remote learning.