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Masks will return to HNS

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HARTINGTON — Masks will return to Hartington-Newcastle Jr.-Sr. High School this week due a recent COVID-19 outbreak at the school.

HNS Supt. A.J. Johnson said because the school has had some COVID cases in the high school, the administration has decidd to make some temporary changes.

Starting Thursday, Sept. 2, all students and staff in grades 7-12 will be required to wear masks for a period of two weeks. 

"This is being done to avoid being placed under an Emergency Directed Health Measure by our local Health Department, which would force us to quarantine all close contacts of the infected students," Supt. Johnson said.

Johnson said he is hoping this mask mandate will be temporary.

"If things get back under control, we will take masks off in two weeks. It is our full intention for this to be a short-lived intervention to keep the outbreak from expanding in our school and for our school year to return to normal as quickly as possible," Supt. Johnson said.

Johnson said this was not an easy decision to make, but it must be done in order to contain the virus.

"We know this will not be popular among all students and parents, but we need your help so we can keep kids in school and prevent healthy students from being sent home," he said.

Out of an abudance of caution, the Hartington-Newcastle volleyball team will not compete in Thursday's Wynot Volleyball Tournament.

It is not known at this time if any other activities will be affected.