GFPS lifts mask requirement for middle, high schools on Nov. 15

Great Falls Public Schools is lifting the mask requirement in middle and high schools beginning Nov. 15.

The district has been monitoring COVID since the start of the school year and this week, the school board adjusted the emergency COVID policy to give the superintendent more flexibility to adjust the health protocols, including mask requirements.

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“Based on the analysis of the data regarding the lower infection rates in our schools and the recent overall downward trend in the community transmission rates over the past few weeks,” the district decided to lift the mask requirement at the middle and high school level, according to a release.

Masks are still “highly recommended in middle and high schools, especially in congested areas where physical distancing of six feet or more cannot be maintained for more than 15 minutes,” according to GFPS.

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The masking requirement for Great Falls Public Elementary Schools (grades TK-6) will remain in place.

“Hopefully after the holiday break, sometime in early January, the mask requirement in elementary schools will be reconsidered as well,” according to the district. “This will give parents/guardians who choose to access vaccines for students in elementary grades, the opportunity to do so. Our goal is to keep schools open and teachers engaged with our students as much as possible. Parents, staff and students are reminded to monitor your health and wellbeing each day.”

As of Nov. 5, there were 54 active cases within the district. The district updates their numbers on Fridays and have no yet updated the case numbers on Nov. 12.

If you are feeling sick and/or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Students, with parent consent, and staff can access rapid tests at most schools and at the community drive-through testing center at the fairgrounds.