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NISD updates mask policy; district will now 'strongly encourage' masks instead of mandate them

The district also said they will reinstate the mask mandate district-wide, or at a specific campus, if confirmed COVID cases rise significantly.

SAN ANTONIO — Northside Independent School District updated their mask mandate Wednesday afternoon.

Starting Monday, the district will go from mandating masks to "strongly encouraging" for all students, staff and visitors while indoors and on school buses.

Previously, the district had granted a temporary face covering mandate in mid-August.

RELATED: NISD board agrees on mask mandate for all students, staff and visitors

"Each week, we closely follow community spread indicators (including the percentage of positive tests and the cases per 100,000 residents) as well as the numbers of positive cases reported directly to our campuses. All of these metrics have been improving for a number of weeks," the district said Wednesday.

The district said they are confident that the number of positive cases within NISD has been "manageable partially because of the use of face masks." They said, "Therefore, as we continue to monitor the number of positive cases in our schools, we are prepared to reinstate the mask mandate district-wide, or at specific campus(es), if confirmed COVID cases rise significantly."

All additional COVID protocols will remain in place including contact tracing, notification of confirmed cases, weekly website reporting and frequent sanitizing. 

"In addition, a student or staff member who chooses not to wear a face covering is, through contact tracing, more likely to be quarantined to help ensure the safety of our students and staff and the continuity of in-person learning," NISD says.

To read the full statement, click here.

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