Johnson County health officials recommend requiring indoor masks at public schools this fall

COVID-19 teens

The Shawnee Mission School District is the only large district in Johnson County yet to issue a formal policy on mask usage for the 2021-22 school year. Other large Johnson County districts have decided to make masks optional — a move that puts them at odds with a new recommendation from JCDHE. File photo credit Emma Kate Squire.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment on Friday issued a new set of recommendations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools — recommendations that may put school boards at odds with public health officials.

In a letter sent to the superintendents and school boards of Johnson County’s six public school districts, JCDHE Director Sanmi Areola, PhD; and Local Health Officer Joseph LeMaster, MD, wrote that JCDHE “recommends that school boards implement a policy that requires indoor mask wearing among persons who are not fully vaccinated.”