Pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students in the Mustang School District are now required to wear masks, officials said.
The new mandate is in effect while the students are in class as well as at any school-related activity.
The transition came because as of last Friday, Canadian County fell into the “orange 2” category, meaning there are 25 to 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population, according to the Oklahoma State Health Department and the Oklahoma State Education Department.
Previously, the county was in a yellow category.
Canadian County has 2,267 cases.
There have been 1,800 people who have recovered from the virus in the county.
Seventeen people have died.
The district said if the county remains in orange 2 as this Friday, and if MPS’ COVID-19 data does not improve, the district will possibly move to an A-B schedule or distance learning, where students would learn remotely.
An A-B schedule or distance learning change could also be targeted for sites with high numbers of COVID-19 data or for the whole district, the release stated.
The move would be for at least three weeks to avoid a “whiplash of a back-and-forth scenario.”
The release also said the district is not making the move immediately, as schools are two weeks removed from Labor Day, as well as the state including rapid test results into testing data.
While the district recognized elementary schools’ COVID-19 data is less than secondary schools, “the trend for all levels is moving in the wrong direction.”
Mustang High School has the most known positive cases at 44, which is 21 more cases from last week.
Mustang Creek Elementary is the only school without a known positive case.
The number of known positive cases of COVID-19 at MPS increased by 56%, the district’s week five data indicated.
“If behaviors don’t change, and change fast, our hopes of remaining in person for instruction will be quickly dashed,” said Superintendent Charles Bradley in the separate release.
“Based on the trends, we are preparing for a transition to A-B for the whole district or even a transition to full distance learning; I cannot stress the importance of taking this more seriously for our entire community.”
Known close contacts and those who are symptomatic also rose by 65 percent, as well as quarantines to date, which increased by 64 percent.
Quarantines and isolations increased by 59 percent from last week.
Five more people in the district have recovered.