TOPEKA (KSNT) – Masks will be optional for students in the USD 501 school district this upcoming school year.

The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education discussed health and safety at the last board meeting. They have confirmed masks will remain optional, and the cleaning mitigation safety measures will continue.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported there have been 859 new cases since August 1, 2022.

According to the KDHE, Shawnee County has seen 548 new cases from July 7, 2022, to July 29, 2022, placing the county in the high category. Anything over 100 cases per 100,000 people elevates a county to high status. Shawnee County is currently seeing 310 cases per 100,000 people.

COVID-19 Cases by symptom, the 4-week trend for Shawnee County

Zero to nine-year-olds make up 8.2% of the cases in Kansas, while 10 to 17-year-olds are making up 10.6% of COVID-19 cases.