CLARK COUNTY (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive on Wednesday setting mask-wearing rules for schools across Nevada, citing an effort to protect students and school staff from the Delta variant and other coronavirus Variants of Concern.
Emergency Directive 048 applies to K-12 county school districts, charter schools and private schools within the state.
Counties with 100,000 people or more, including Clark and Washoe, require students to wear face coverings inside school buildings and on buses, regardless of vaccination status, unless granted an exemption.
The governor's policy aligns with the Clark County School District's most recent mask guidance posted last week.
Additionally, parents of CCSD students received a notice with similar information on Wednesday. The full note to parents read:
The District is committed to opening schools for all students as safely as possible for in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. As a result of the current high transmission rates of COVID-19 and in alignment with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Southern Nevada Health District, and the Governor's Directive(s), students and staff will adhere to the following guidelines:
• All students are required to wear face masks while inside school buildings/facilities, unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use.
• All students are required to wear face masks on all District buses, unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use.
• If a student requires an exemption from wearing a face mask, an Individualized Education Program or Section 504 Accommodation Plan team meeting must be held to determine if the face mask exemption is appropriate.
• All staff are required to wear face masks while inside school buildings/facilities, unless medical conditions prohibit use.
• All staff are required to wear face masks on all District buses, unless medical conditions prohibit use.
The District will continue to monitor the health data in our community to make informed decisions regarding the implementation of mitigation strategies.
Previously, CCSD's plan for elementary schools stated staff would be required to wear masks indoors and on buses, but only fourth and fifth graders would be required to wear masks.
As part of the newly-signed emergency directive, students, staff and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated in Nevada and who travel to other schools or venues outside of their county for sports and activities will be required to have weekly COVID-19 tests.
Read the full message from the governor's office below.
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Emergency Directive 048 related to face coverings and other mitigation strategies for K-12 county school district, charter school and private school settings within Nevada. Additionally, Nevada Health Response released accompanying guidance for the directive that summarizes requirements and recommendations for masking and testing within K-12 school settings.
As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week, it is recommended that all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks inside school buildings to prevent transmission of the virus.
As Variants of Concern, including the Delta variant, have become the most predominant strains of the virus and most school-aged children are not yet able to be vaccinated, additional mitigation measures are needed to protect students, staff and school visitors.
The Emergency Directive and guidance were developed in partnership with the Nevada Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services and local school leaders across the State.
In all counties, all school staff must wear face coverings while inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, all kindergarten through 12th grade students and school staff throughout Nevada must wear face coverings while on school buses, as per the CDC order. CDC’s order applies to all public transportation conveyances, including school buses. Regardless of the mask policy at a school, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses.
In counties with a population of 100,000 or greater, all kindergarten through 12th grade students in county school district, charter school and private school settings (regardless of whether they would be exempt from the face covering requirement based on their age) MUST wear face coverings while inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status unless granted an exemption. Exemptions for masking are outlined in Directive 048 and accompanying guidance. This applies to Clark County and Washoe County.
In counties with a population less than 100,000, each county school district, charter school, and private school shall adopt a face covering policy that addresses whether, or under what circumstances, face coverings will be required for students while in school buildings or on school campuses. Any policy must not conflict with the provisions of the Emergency Directive or with any face covering requirements imposed by county governments or local health authorities. This applies to the remaining 15 counties.
Irrespective of any policy adopted by a county school district, charter school, or private school, if a school-wide outbreak of COVID-19 is identified by the applicable local health authority in any school, a universal face covering policy SHALL be implemented immediately for ALL students in the school building where the outbreak occurred until the local health authority determines that the outbreak is closed.
Finally, weekly regular testing will be required in county school districts, charter schools and private schools for all students, staff and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated and who are involved in travelling to other schools or venues outside of the county for athletics and activities.
More details on requirements and recommendations for K-12 school settings can be found in the guidance online and in additional guidance developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.