TOPEKA – To protect Kansas students, teachers, and staff from the threat of the contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, Governor Laura Kelly today announced the Safer Classrooms Workgroup.

The workgroup, composed of highly skilled health professionals from across Kansas, will highlight the urgency of protecting kids from COVID-19 and use the best available science and information to support Governor Kelly’s administration, local governments, and school districts to promote health and safety in our schools.

“Children are catching the virus, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID at increasingly higher rates. There’s nothing more important than keeping our students healthy and in the classroom,” Governor Kelly said. “The Safer Classrooms Workgroup will provide information and guidance to give parents, teachers, school boards, and others the tools they need to make informed decisions to protect our students and our communities.”

The Safer Classrooms Workgroup will be composed of pediatricians, family physicians, school nurses, pharmacists, school psychologists, and other health professionals. They will meet weekly to highlight the urgency of protecting our kids from the delta variant, speaking with educators, parents, and advocates about their experiences as schools work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Every week, the workgroup will release a “School Safety Report” to serve as a resource for media, parents, schools, communities, and policymakers.

Information in this weekly report will include:

  • Timely and relevant policies on testing and masking in schools, and best practices that can be shared across school districts.
  • Updates on school districts with clearly communicated quarantine, testing, and masking policies, to ensure parents and families have what they need to know to keep their children safe.
  • Information on school district vaccination and testing events – with resources to help schools plan, publicize, and implement.
  • County-level data on youth vaccinations, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • Schools with active outbreaks.

“We got our kids back in school by listening to health professionals, wearing masks, implementing stringent public health protocol, and getting vaccinated,” Governor Kelly said. “We’ll keep them there by continuing to follow the best health practices. I encourage all Kansans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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