SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Springfield Public Schools has announced all SPS staff and visitors will be required to wear masks while inside district facilities beginning Tuesday, January 18.

This comes after SPS rescinded their mask mandate for students for this coming semester. Students still will not be required to wear a face mask inside facilities, in compliance with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s cease-and-desist order.

This change comes as SPS notes they’ve seen 550 positive cases within the district in the past week, resulting in staffing shortages. In a press release, SPS said 20% of SPS workforce are currently absent. As well, 19% of their 24,500 total students are absent, an estimated 4,655 students currently not in school.

SPS says an inventory of KN95 masks will be delivered to all SPS sites and will be available upon request beginning Tuesday. Other face masks issued by the district will also be permitted, but gator face masks will not be approved.

This is a breaking news story. Further details will be provided as they become available.