Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak updated previous guidance released last summer to allow more students within school buildings and buses, as well as reducing the social distancing guidelines to 3 feet.
In effect since Feb. 18, school districts that have been open for at least 20 days of in-class instruction can increase occupancy rates to not exceed 250 students or 75 percent capacity, based on the listed fire code.
Sisolak’s Directive 308 states that after 20 days, districts may adopt social distancing protocols of no less than 3 feet between students at all levels. However, school staff must maintain at least 6 feet of distance. The same social distancing practices remain in effect while also on board the school bus. The directive states that school buses may also now operate at 66 percent capacity.
Previous guidance issued over the summer stated that maximum social distancing should be adhered to on the school bus, which included load counts of six to 15 students. It added however if the seatback is considered a barrier between elementary school students, a district can seat 24 to 26 students per general education bus.
Face masks are still required on school property but may be removed when playing a musical instrument with the mouth. When singing, students must continue to wear their face masks. They may remove masks if they are playing outdoors and 6 feet of distance can be maintained.
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Nevada also now permits full-contact and close-contact sports, as long as they are governed in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) and the conditions set forth by the directive.
“The NIAA must promulgate a mandatory COVID-19 testing and mitigation plan for full-contact and close-contact sports,” the directive states. “The plan must require at a minimum weekly testing of coaches, staff and athletes participating in these sports. The plan must include rules and guidance for the use of face coverings by student-athletes while both actively and not actively participating in the sporting activity.”
It also requires superintendents of schools to submit written approval of close-contact and full-contact sports to the Nevada Department of Education.