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Fremont schools, organizations announce new plans with COVID-19

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FRE Mass vaccine cropped.jpg

More than 700 individuals receive the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination clinic at Christensen Field last April.

Various Fremont schools, organizations and governmental entities have announced new protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its Delta variant.

Except for Methodist Fremont Health, many of the entities will not require the use of masks, including the school systems and government buildings, according to a press release.

Representatives from MFH, the City of Fremont, Three Rivers Public Health Department, Fremont Public Schools, Midland University, Archbishop Bergan Catholic School, Trinity Lutheran School, Metropolitan Community College, Fremont Family YMCA and Dodge County recently had a meeting to share updates and discuss the local response.

“I want to thank everyone in our community for your help and understanding,” Fremont Mayor Joey Spellerberg said at the meeting. “COVID-19 and its current variants are not going away, so a vaccination is the greatest weapon we have against the virus.”

As part of the new update, FPS released its Return to In-Person Instruction Plan for the 2021-2022 school year, and along with Bergan, will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity and follow Three Rivers guidance.

“We are fortunate in Fremont to have a community that supports each other and works together,” FPS Superintendent Mark Shepard said. “We truly appreciate the leadership demonstrated by Mayor Joey Spellerberg and Three Rivers Public Health Director Terra Uhing as they continue to lead us through these challenging times.”

Both schools will not require daily temperature tests or masks, but recommend masking for unvaccinated individuals when school starts on Aug. 9 for Bergan and Aug. 10 for FPS.

Students and staff with a fever greater than 100 degrees will be required to stay out of school until they are fever free for 24 hours. Those who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days.

Additionally, Trinity Lutheran School will also be a mask-choice school and begin classes on Aug. 11.

Midland is encouraging its students, faculty and staff to receive vaccinations but will not make it a requirement for when classes start on Aug. 30.

The university will also not require masks, but recommended their usage for people not vaccinated. It plans on releasing its full Return to Campus Plan soon and is also working with Three Rivers.

MCC has no mask mandate but requires 3 feet of distancing on campus. It will offer a mix of in-person, online and blended classes when its school year begins on Sept. 8.

Both Fremont and Dodge County buildings and facilities will continue to be open to the public and will not require the usage of masks.

According to the release, MFH has been treating an increasing number of COVID-19 positive patients during the last few weeks, the vast majority of which are unvaccinated.

“This has quickly become a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” President and CEO Brett Richmond said. “On behalf of our almost 1,000 local Methodist team members, we are asking unvaccinated individuals to visit further with their trusted primary care physician about the risks and benefits of being vaccinated.”

The hospital system will continue to screen all visitors for COVID-19 and will require masking in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The YMCA will continue to operate as a mask-choice facility. The Y Wellness Center on the MFH campus will follow the same guidelines as the hospital system.

Spellerberg thanked Uhing and the Three Rivers team for keeping Fremont, as well as Dodge, Saunders and Washington counties, up to date on information on COVID-19.

The path to a future without fear from the effects of the deadly virus is in the hands of the people, and I am optimistic that they will get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and friends and the general public,” he said. “We are off to a great start, we just need to keep moving forward.”

Check out how Nebraska compares with other states on COVID vaccinations of youths age 12-17.

Vaccinated teachers and students don't need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines. The changes come amid a national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as a general decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

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