SAN ANTONIO – The Northside ISD Board of Trustees has temporarily approved an indoor mask mandate amid a rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.
Beginning Thursday, all students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear a mask while indoors.
Face masks are not required while outdoors.
“The members of our Board and I do not make this decision lightly, but feel that we must use this tool given the current disruption to in-person learning. The mandate is driven by concerns for student and staff safety and is not motivated by the current legal battles on this issue,” NISD Superintendent Brian Woods said.
Last week, 20% of students were absent and 15% of the staff was out, according to Woods.
While the district did see improvements in attendance this week, Woods said it’s too soon to tell if the trend will continue.
The district is asking parents to volunteer in schools if possible to help with current shortages.
Woods said the mask mandate will remain in effect as long as it takes for the community to get through the COVID-19 surge.
The district says they are also monitoring winter weather expected to push into the San Antonio area Thursday and will make an announcement regarding classes late Wednesday, or very early Thursday.