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New Grand Island Public Schools mask policy June 1

New Grand Island Public Schools mask policy June 1

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Beginning June 1, Grand Island Public Schools staff members who are fully vaccinated will be able to work maskless, indoors or outdoors, as long as they’re not around those who have not been vaccinated.

“As Grand Island Public Schools works through the pandemic and turns its sights to next fall, the district is prepared and thrilled to move forward,” says a GIPS release issued Wednesday. “Part of the process of turning the corner on COVID-19 is ensuring that the safety of GIPS students and staff is never compromised when rolling out new protocols.”

GIPS says it is proud to announce “that after a school year in which masks were mandatory for all, a new protocol is ready to be rolled out.”

The new protocol applies only to fully vaccinated GIPS staff members “who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and are two weeks past the second dose of the two-dose series, or those who have received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Janssen vaccine and are two weeks past their dose. Unvaccinated and not-fully-vaccinated staff are asked to continue wearing a mask while at work until directed otherwise.”

“These vaccinated staff members must continue to wear a mask in the presence of students, visitors or GIPS employees who are unvaccinated,” the release says. “Vaccinated staff are asked to continue wearing masks in crowded spaces or large meetings where social distancing cannot be maintained. Further communication regarding fall safety protocols for students and staff will be delivered in the coming months.”

Social distancing, consistent hand-washing and other measures still are encouraged for all GIPS staff.

“This new protocol is also a choice, not a decree; if GIPS staff members are vaccinated and are more comfortable continuing to wear a mask, they should continue to wear it,” according to the press release. “GIPS thanks its staff for its continued efforts to get the district to this point. Local, state and federal health authorities have always guided district decision-making. GIPS is excited to move into the summer unified with eyes trained on a safe future for its district and community.”

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