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Masks returning at all schools in Papillion La Vista district
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Masks returning at all schools in Papillion La Vista district

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The mask mandate set to go into effect in Omaha at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday applies to indoor settings, with some exceptions.

The mask mandate at Papillion La Vista schools has been extended to all schools, including the three that had been exempt.

The district imposed the mandate Thursday, but exempted three schools because they didn't meet the illness threshold. On Thursday evening, the district added those three schools — Papillion La Vista High School and Trumble Park and Prairie Queen Elementary Schools.

The masking requirement will be effective for at least 10 calendar days. Each school will have to experience reduced absences to end the masking.

All the masked schools exceeded the 7% three-day rolling average for absences, which the school board set as a trigger for masking, spokeswoman Annette Eyman said.

The district had about 8% of its students out on Monday, 9.5% Tuesday and 10.4% Wednesday, Eyman said. The district’s three-day average was 9.3%.

“The whole goal of those protocols was that if we started to see an increase in absences, we put the masks back on, and that’s exactly what’s happening,” she said.

For a school to return to optional masking, the three-day average absence rate for illness would have to go below 7%.

The trigger was set by the school board last semester. It takes into account absences for all illnesses, not just COVID.

The district started the school year with masks optional, but within weeks the district required them after seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. In October, after the spike subsided, the district began a phased return to optional masking.

The district entered this week with masks optional — with the exception of some classrooms that were masked because of illness.


joe.dejka@owh.com, 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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