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Lincoln County schools will announce new mask policy by mid-March

Tiffany Eckert
Oregon school districts will decide whether to continue mask requirements once the statewide requirement ends March 19.

Students in Lincoln County will have to wait a couple more weeks to find out whether they’ll be able to shed their masks in the classroom after spring break.

The state’s mask requirement for schools will end on March 19. But individual districts will be allowed to keep the requirement if they choose.

Lincoln County School Superintendent Karen Gray said in a video message that a decision will be announced by March 14 and will be made with advice from public health officials.

“School districts are required to collaborate with local public health agencies regarding this decision, and we have been collaborating with them for the last 24 months," said Gray. "We will be in consultation with them before making our final decision.”

Gray said without universal masking, the implications of someone in a school testing positive for COVID are more serious and would require more robust contact tracing and quarantines.

Some Oregon school districts have already announced they’ll drop the mask requirement. The Eugene 4J District has not yet announced a new policy.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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