HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — The Hutto Independent School District has chosen to require masking in its schools and facilities starting Monday.
“Current levels of COVID cases in our community require us to implement additional measures to our health and safety protocols including the temporary use of universal mask wearing,” Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas said in an announcement online Friday.
Thomas said rising infection rates in the community and low ICU bed capacity pushed district leadership to require masking.
The decision came after a Texas Supreme Court move on Thursday that allowed mask mandates to continue temporarily, without schools being in violation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.
The district pointed out this is still being debated in the court system, and any changes may cause leaders to reevaluate the mask mandate.
Hutto ISD said 32 staffers tested positive for COVID-19 since mid-July, and as of Thursday, there were 13 active positive cases among staff. In addition to these numbers, the district said 67 students couldn’t show up on the first day of school, because they were either positive for COVID-19 or their household had 2+ people who tested positive.
Hutto ISD said its mask requirement will look similar to how it was during in-person classes last year.
You are allowed to remove your mask during eating, drinking or engaging in physical activity. Students or staff members with a condition that makes it hard to wear a mask will be considered on a case-by-case basis, the district said.
The mask mandate will not apply to athletic or afterschool events where students have a choice in attending.
Learn more about Hutto ISD’s mask requirement online here.