Mask policy changes for Lincoln High School students
By City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – After less than a week in classes, Wisconsin Rapids’ Lincoln High School has changed its mask policy.
In a Sept. 9 letter to district parents, WRPS Superintendent Craig Broeren said that “masks/ face
coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors (regardless of vaccination status)” as of Sept. 13 while inside Lincoln High School.
“Our overarching goal has been to keep as many students in school, in person as long as we possibly can,” Broeren stated. “Unfortunately, we are only six days into the 2021-2022 school year and have had over 12 students at Lincoln High School (LHS) positive for COVID-19 resulting in the quarantine of approximately 10 percent of the student population at LHS. The number of quarantined students does not include those who are fully vaccinated and not required to quarantine. In addition, there has been some evidence of spread as a result of the school environment and/or activities.”
The letter stated that masks would not be required outside at this time.
“Relevant details for athletics/ activities will be communicated by the athletic department and/or coaches/ advisors. In general, indoor sports/ activities would have masks/ face coverings
required unless actively playing; masks are not currently required outdoors including for athletics/ activities,” added Broeren.
“The mask/face covering requirement remains in effect for all of our other school buildings as well with the exception of River Cities High School (RCHS) where masks will continue to be optional at this time. RCHS has had no staff or student positives to date, and have significantly fewer students and staff in the building at any given time.
“As was communicated previously, since masks have been optional at LHS we are required to
quarantine individuals who are within 6 feet or less of a positive individual for 15 minutes or greater. By making masks/ face coverings required, we will significantly reduce (by around 50 percent or more) the number of close contacts created based on the fact that the definition of a close contact is reduced to three feet if all individuals involved are wearing masks/ face coverings. This approach will nearly eliminate close contacts in classrooms as we are able to obtain at least three feet of distance between students in most cases. There will still be individuals considered close contacts from the school environment (e.g. lunch, direct contact, etc.), but as indicated above, close contacts will be
significantly reduced by requiring masks/ face coverings.”
The school district started the 2021-22 school year requiring that students in grades K-8 wear face coverings. No COVID-19 cases have been reported in the elementary schools in the past week, while four cases have been reported in the middle school so far.
“Medical exemptions for individuals with legitimate medical issues which preclude them from wearing a mask/ face covering are available. Parents/ guardians can complete this form and have their medical provider sign off,” Broeren said in the letter.