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CCSD, Nevada colleges sticking with face mask mandates

Updated May 14, 2021 - 5:10 pm

The Clark County School District and Nevada’s colleges aren’t planning to drop policies requiring mask-wearing on campuses and in offices.

The School District, the Nevada System of Higher Education and Touro University Nevada all announced Friday that they would retain their mask mandates, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance saying that individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings.

In Nevada, those guidelines became effective immediately, though “private entities and organizations” can set more restrictive mask policies, according to the state.

The CCSD said in a statement that it is sticking with its policy mandating face masks for all students and adults, but indicated it may revisit the issue next week.

“At this time, out of an abundance of caution, we must ensure that masks continue to be worn to protect our students and staff,” the statement said. “Additional information and direction will be provided next week based on any updates to local mitigation and guidance.”

Masks were a hot topic at Thursday night’s School Board meeting, with members of the public demanding that the district end mask mandates for children immediately — even though the CDC guidance was only issued for people who have been vaccinated.

The district has required masks for all individuals on campus — with certain medical exemptions — since buildings reopened in March.

The school year ends on May 26, but the district will begin its new full-time, in-person summer school option on June 1.

Meanwhile, NSHE, which oversees eight public schools and more than 100,000 students, said in a statement that it’s reviewing the new mask guidelines.

“Once the new guidelines are fully evaluated, we will issue any appropriate updates to NSHE’s current COVID-19 policies,” it said.

The higher education system includes UNLV; the University of Nevada, Reno; Nevada State College in Henderson; and the College of Southern Nevada. All colleges and universities have been requiring face masks on campuses.

Touro University Nevada in Henderson, a private school with nearly 1,500 students in health care and education programs, also is requiring face masks to be worn on campus, spokesman Steven Slivka said via email Friday.

The university said in a statement that it continues to follow state and county COVID-19 restrictions and if those change, “Touro will evaluate and adjust as appropriate for our organization.”

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Julie Wootton-Greener contributed to this report.

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