Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that he has lifted the state's mask mandate.
At the March school board meeting, the possibility of this happening was discussed. For many reasons, it was recommended to continue all COVID-19 safety precautions through the end of the school year. The Lake Hamilton School District Board of Education will consider an official mask policy during the April board meeting. Until that time, the Lake Hamilton School District will continue its current practice of requiring teachers, students, and visitors to wear masks in all schools and district facilities. Social distancing will also be continued.
Our COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including the mask mandate, have allowed us to keep our schools open. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance stating proper mask-wearing may now prevent individuals from being identified as close contacts in K-12 schools that have implemented a mask mandate. This means that if both individuals at school – the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person exposed to the positive case – have masks on and are wearing them correctly, the individual exposed does not need to quarantine. Arkansas Department of Education Secretary, Johnny Key, announced today that Arkansas schools will follow the updated guidance released by the CDC. The updated guidance will have a significant impact on reducing the number of students who must quarantine and will serve as an additional incentive for proper mask-wearing.
With the end of the school year less than ten weeks away, the Lake Hamilton School District will continue focusing on educating our students while maintaining a safe teaching and learning environment.
It is our hope that #LHWolfNation supports our safety efforts in order to finish our school year strong.