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TPS Tweaks Mask Guidelines

While it was never more than a suggestion, the Tulsa Public Schools is making changes to its mask guidelines.

Rather than saying masks are 'expected' at school sites, the new policy is that masks are now 'recommended ' at school sites. Tulsa School Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist cited declining Covid rates as the rationale. However, she did express concern for students too young to be vaccinated:

Deborah Gist: "We also want to be clear that we did factor into our decision that some of our pre-k students are under the age of five and not yet eligible for a vaccine. We know that while children are as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, research shows that they are less likely to become severely ill. We also know the impact that wearing a mask during class has on children's ability to learn, and on the teacher’s ability to communicate with students, particularly our younger ones."

Under state law, districts were barred from issuing mask mandates unless the Governor declared a state of emergency. Governor Stitt declined to do so. Some school district issued mandates anyway, but the TPS, opted to issue guidelines.