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SPRING HILL, Kan. — Nearly 500 students in the Spring Hill School District have received exemptions to the district’s mask policies. 

The Spring Hill School Board unanimously approved a policy Monday to report mask exemption numbers alongside weekly COVID-19 case numbers. 

According to the USD 230 COVID-19 dashboard, the school district has issued 492 mask exemptions. That means roughly 18.7 percent of all students in kindergarten through eighth grade have been excused from wearing a mask inside school buildings. 

Last week, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment sent the district a letter expressing concerns about high case numbers. On Friday, the department shared a graph comparing COVID-19 case rates between Johnson County school districts with Spring Hill having one of the highest infection rates.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard is updated twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The dashboard includes data on positive cases within the district as well as presumed positive cases. The district defines a presumed positive as someone who had a known exposure and is showing symptoms of COVID-19.