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Bellevue Public Schools tightens response to classroom COVID cases

Bellevue Public Schools tightens response to classroom COVID cases

The number of COVID cases flattened out in Nebraska and the U.S. last week, raising the question of whether the delta variant has finally reached its peak.

Bellevue Public Schools on Wednesday will tighten up its response to COVID-19 cases turning up in schools, a spokeswoman said.

When one student tests positive in a classroom, classmates will be required to wear masks in school for 14 days, Amanda Oliver said Tuesday.

The targeted-response policy is similar to what’s done in the Millard Public Schools, a district that, like Bellevue, makes masks optional.

Previously, the Bellevue district waited for two confirmed cases before requiring a class to wear masks.

Superintendent Jeff Rippe announced the change on Monday.

Oliver said the goal is to minimize spread that could lead to closing classrooms, something she said they haven’t had to do yet.

“We just want to do what we can to keep kids in school, and this is one step that was suggested to us through the health department,” she said.

If additional cases turn up in the classroom, the district will work with the health department to curb spread, she said.

As of Tuesday, Millard was sticking with its protocols, a spokeswoman said.

A cluster of cases at Harvey Oaks Elementary, however, did trigger the imposition of a mask mandate at the school.

As of Monday, the school reported 16 confirmed cases. That was the most cases reported at any of the district’s elementary schools., 402-444-1077

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Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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