Masks. Vector illustration.

Dallas ISD just released an update about COVID-19 safety protocols and students and staff prepare to return to campus after the winter break.

The district had previously said its mask mandate would be continued until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which falls Jan. 17. But a recent uptick in cases because of the omicron variant, as well as Dallas County’s increased threat level, prompted DISD to change its policy.

Now, the mask mandate will be in place until spring break, and DISD will reassess at that time.

According to DISD’s website, vaccinations are still encouraged, social distancing will still be in effect, and cleaning and hygiene efforts will continue.

Campus nurses are available to test students and staff. And DISD is setting up a testing site at the William H. Cotton Service Center today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anyone who has been fully vaccinated and is identified as a close contact won’t have to quarantine if they aren’t showing symptoms. But DISD advises those who show symptoms to stay home and contact a doctor.