The Thompson School Board of Education has voted to extend its mandatory face mask requirement to all students in grade levels Pre-K through 12, as well as staff and visitors.

In a letter posted to the Thompson School District website on Friday (Sept. 3) addressing the Thompson School District (TSD) community, the Board chose to make the adjustment to a pre-existing mask mandate in the school district - which initially required all students, staff, and visitors in grade levels Pre-K through 8 to wear masks - as a result of an update that was provided to Board members regarding a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Larimer County health professionals stated that COVID-19 infections are impacting the school district's high school students at a significant level that is only continuing to increase. Officials have also detected rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases within the community at large in recent weeks.

Evidence of the growth in COVID-19 cases is being experienced in several TSD schools:

As a result of reaching outbreak status, all students and staff at Loveland High School will be required to wear masks in school beginning today (Friday, Sept. 3).

Loveland High is the first school in the Thompson School District to reach outbreak status.

As per the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment, outbreak status means that there are five or more connected COVID-19 cases among individuals from the same place - in this case - staff and students who all either attend or work at Loveland High.

At least five of the 27 positive COVID-19 cases reported at Loveland High are connected to each other.

According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, Principal Michael James notified families late Thursday (Sept. 2) that the Larimer County Department of Health had deemed the cases at Loveland High School an outbreak, which is what ultimately triggered the mask mandate.

“That is a county directive, not a district directive,” Todd Piccone, the district’s chief operations officer said. 

In addition, “outbreak” status was also issued by the Larimer County Department of Health at Mountain View High School, Lucile Erwin Middle School and Coyote Ridge Elementary School, according to the update on TSD's website.

As per the letter, the newly updated face mask mandate for high school students will go into effect at the start of the school day on Tuesday, September 7, which also extends to all district buildings and facilities. 

In the meantime, students and staff members are encouraged to wear face masks in order to help ensure safety for themselves and others. The face mask policy continues to be in effect for all PreK-8th grade students, staff and visitors.

To view TSD's full statement regarding the updated mask mandate, click here. 

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