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EPISD Board adopts temporary face mask provision

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Jan. 19, 2022) — The EPISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday adopted a temporary provision that sets the expectation for all students, employees and visitors to wear a face mask while on District property but offers an opt-out for those who do not wish to use one.

The new provision will go into effect on Jan. 25 and run through Feb. 15, at which point the Board of Trustees will meet with health authority officials to determine the appropriate next steps. Trustees gave the administration one week to develop an implementation plan for the provision.

“The District will follow the guidance of the Board of Trustees and the advice of health experts as we cope with this latest surge in COVID-19 infection cases,” said Superintendent Diana Sayavedra. “My staff and I are already working on developing the procedures that will be used to implement the new guidelines, including the opportunities for students and staff to opt out of wearing a face mask.”

Once finalized, the implementation plan will be shared with parents and the public.

The provision exempts students participating in athletics and fine arts from wearing a face mask during games, events, practices and performances, unless they have tested positive for COVID within the last 10 days.  

Exceptions to the provision include the mandatory use of a face mask for any person on campus who has tested positive for COVID and chooses to return to school or work after five days of isolation without any symptoms.

EPISD will continue to provide face masks and other personal protective equipment to any student or employee who requests them. Additionally, the District will continue to provide testing for any student and staff member who has been determined to have had a high-risk contact with an infected person while on campus.

The District efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus is centered around four recommendations from health authorities:

  1. Get vaccinated
  2. Wear a face mask
  3. Wash your hands often
  4. Stay home if you’re feeling sick.

For more information on EPISD’s COVID guidelines and protocols visit www.episd.org/covid19.

Story by Gustavo Reveles