Covid Chaos As Delta Cases Rise And Divide Grows In Grand Island
Frustration is rising as schools get set to return, and the cities largest school district has the students, staff, and visitors returning with masks.
The Grand Island Public Schools "Safe Return To School Plan" that was just announced last week has already been modified as the district announced Monday night that masks will now be required for all staff, students and visitors while inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
Under the return to school plan masks were to be optional unless "Substantial Transmission" occurs in Hall County. Teresa Anderson the Director of the Central District Health Department says Hall County is well above that number.
The Coronavirus State of Emergency ended in Nebraska on June 30th along with that the roll that Central District Health Department can play in the schools policies and covid protocols.
GIPS officials say they will reevaluate the decision to require masks on Monday, September 27.
Meanwhile, just 20 miles to the south, the Hastings Public School Board held a public meeting to discuss their back to school plan as the board voted 7 to 2 for just a recommended not required mask policy.
You might remember last summer, when the covid risk dial was introduced by the Central District Health Department. There was this catchy little phrase green means vaccine. Months later the vaccine arrived, yet an overabundance of caution is still being taken heading into this fall.
The current vaccination rate for those eligible in the Central District Health Department area is 39%, a number they and Elizabeth Troyer-Miller with the Heartland United Way would like to see increase
Everything we’ve done to this point in our fight against covid was ultimately to protect the elderly and most vulnerable. Those who are testing positive for the Delta Variant are said to mainly be among the state's younger population. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says the risks need to weighed along with the numbers.
Less than 2 hours following the GIPS announcement to return to masks, a petition was put up on change.org, and a protest has been planned on social media prior to Thursday nights meeting of the Board of Education.
The Board meets on Thursday at 5:30