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In preparation of the school board meeting, Rapid City Area School board’s plans are not widely agreed upon

The Rapid City Area School board meets tonight to discuss a number of topics, but perhaps the most pressing topic for the community, the school’s COVID protocols or rather lack of.
The Rapid City Area School board meets tonight to discuss a number of topics, but perhaps the...
The Rapid City Area School board meets tonight to discuss a number of topics, but perhaps the most pressing topic for the community, the school’s COVID protocols or rather lack of.(Gillian Trudeau)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 4:48 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The board is looking to make changes to the District’s Ready.Set.Start plan, largely concerning the few COVID precautionary protocols still in place. For example, one potential change to the language would “make clear that social distancing is optional to the individual” along with masks.

One potential change would also alter the way that the community is notified about COVID cases within the school district. COVID notifications that were originally emailed to parents would instead be posted to a dashboard on the school’s website.

“All the information in the emails will now be on the dashboard for those that want to know about their school while relieving other parents from unwanted emails. The public may be surprised at how many parents did not want these emails,” said Katharine Thomas, President of RCAS School Board in a statement.

However, many experts within the medical community have a difference of opinion concerning the lack of COVID protocols. Over 50 area doctors have sent a letter of concern to the School Board and superintendent, stating, “The COVID- Delta variant is spreading rapidly amongst children and staff with optional masking and no quarantine measures or contact tracing strategies. These infections are also spreading among family and community members.”

”The concern is as numbers rise in the school, numbers will continue to rise in the community, we feel we can get COVID under control and flatten the curve by implementing some simple measures,” said Steve Miller, board certified emergency medicine physician at Monument Health.

In the letter, the medical community begins by showcasing the stress that unvaccinated COVID patients are having on hospital resources, they go on to recommend everyone wear masks at school, that all eligible individuals get vaccinated, that COVID testing be readily available and accessible, and that school districts be in close communication and coordination with state and local medical experts.

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