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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

SPS To Require Masks For Students, Staff At All District Facilities This Fall

Springfield-Greene County Health Department/Facebook

COVID-19 continues to spread in southwest Missouri.  Because of that, and because kids under age 12 aren't yet able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Springfield Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan, announced Friday the district will require all staff and students to wear masks when school resumes on August 23.

According to Lathan, that decision was based, in part, on updated guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics that students return to in-person learning five days a week with masking required for all students enrolled in pre-K through 12th grade.  

Masking is already required for the July session of the district's summer school program.

"This decision supports the goal of a safe start to the school year and beyond," Lathan said.

She said masking has been shown to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 at school and reducing the number of people required to quarantine.  

"Keeping more students in school supports their learning and social development while allowing our parents to work without frequent disruptions caused when students must quarantine at home," she said.

She said they'll work with public health experts to remove the mask mandate "as soon as local data indicates it is appropriate."

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.