Last Thursday, the West Central District Health Department released the current Covid-19 status for Lincoln County, showing a small uptick on the Risk Dial. The dial is still at the Orange (Elevated) Risk level, but the continuing levels of positive tests prompted the school district to make some changes; namely, a mask mandate for students as well as teachers.

“Our goal is to provide in-person learning for as long as possible. In order to prevent the spread among staff and students, a mask mandate increases the likelihood of us achieving that goal,” superintendent James McGown shared.

It’s a goal worth shooting for, as winter sports and activities get underway. The school’s pandemic protocols have been consistently praised by the health department in the first 10 weeks of school, and continue to offer the best pathway to continued participation in both academic and extracurricular activities.

 It is likely that sports spectators will be asked to make some changes if the Risk Dial continues to trend upward. Masks, social distancing, and other limiting protocols are sufficient for now, but the health and safety of students and families will be a continued priority.

“Streaming  of events will likely be the best way to watch our student athletes compete and is encouraged,” McGown notes. “We all have the same goal and that is for the disruptions  caused by this Covid-19 to end. With no signs of that happening in the immediate future, ask yourself, what are you doing to help end this?”

It takes a village to raise and educate a child, and it also takes a village to model healthy social behavior in the face of a novel pandemic.