Lufkin ISD implements mask mandate for students, staff

Coronavirus

LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – Lufkin ISD is reinstating a mask mandate for staff and students.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, Lufkin ISD will return to a mask mandate for all staff and students from grades Pre-K through 12.

In a statement on their social media, Lufkin ISD announced that they had the highest single-day posititve COVID-19 cases prompting the district to take action and mitigate the virus.

More than 15 school districts throughout East Texas have announced closures due to rising COVID-19 cases. Lufkin ISD said in a statement that the Lufkin ISD administration doesn’t anticipate the district closing, but individual campuses may need to close.

“With the rise in the number of cases on our campuses, this move is a necessary safety precaution to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with emphasis on the Delta variant. While I might wish that the state government would have provided schools with more guidance and support, ultimately these matters are better handled at the local level rather than through a one-size-fits-all approach from the state,” said Lynn Torres, Lufkin ISD Superintendent.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 transmission rates for Angelina County are listed as high with 564 active cases Wednesday.

“Many of these cases are showing up in our schools through both staff and students. I do not feel that we can wait any longer to protect our staff and students. We will follow the CDC advice for who should wear a mask to protect everyone from the Delta variant even if students and staff are fully vaccinated. Remember that a great majority of our student population is not eligible to receive the vaccination because they are under 12 years of age. We will do what is necessary to protect them,” said Torres.

Torres said they will revisit the mandate within 45 days to assess local infection rates and the number of cases to see when this mandate might be lifted in the future.

Masks will be highly recommended at athletic events and events that are open to the public. Students and staff will be required to bring their own masks, but masks will be provided in case of an emergency.

Other schools like Longview, Chapel Hill and Diboll have also implemented mask mandates due to COVID-19.

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