With area COVID-19 cases continuing to climb, several area school districts announced additional mitigation efforts Tuesday, as Tulsa Public Schools reinstated its mask policy and other area districts announced shifts in instructional methods.
In an email to parents Tuesday afternoon, TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist announced that masks are once again expected for students and adults in all district buildings starting Wednesday.
As of the close of business Tuesday, a timeline was not available for when the policy would be revisited.
In order to be in compliance with a temporary injunction from the Oklahoma County District Court, TPS’s mask requirement includes opt-out provisions for medical reasons or based on a student’s educational, social or emotional needs.
According to the case counts published by the district on Friday, TPS had 485 reported cases of COVID-19 among its students and staff, a one-week increase of 344 cases.
The district amended its masks policy on Jan. 3 to optional but recommended for students and staff in middle schools, junior high schools and combined middle and high schools. They were made optional at stand-alone high schools and district offices in November.
Meanwhile, after warning parents on Friday about the possibility of a closure or change on short notice due to rising case counts, Skiatook Public Schools announced Tuesday that all of its campuses will be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and will not offer virtual instruction on those days.