Monroe County School Board reverses course on mask requirement inside schools

The change came less than 24 hours after the school board voted to require masks.

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Monroe County School Board amended previously announced Covid-19 protocols Wednesday night.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the board had announced updated protocols in the wake of rising cases in the area.

The latest protocols were approved Wednesday night after a group of parents spoke out against the mask requirement, according to 41NBC reporter Ariel Schiller.

The board will now “highly recommend” masking for staff and students in school settings instead.

“Students and staff will be encouraged each day to wear a mask,” a release said.

Other amended protocols:

  • Highly recommend that unvaccinated staff and students 12 years and older (with written parental permission) receive the Covid-19 vaccination. We will work with DPH to set up
    vaccination schedules for willing staff and students.
  • Contact trace exposures within 6 ft for 15 minutes in the school setting, allowing parents the option to quarantine their child. Household contacts of a positive case will be asked to quarantine. Absences for opting to quarantine will be excused and students may make up work.
  • Mandatory masking on buses (this will help cut down on multiple cross grade exposures).
  • Use social distancing as needed to help reduce exposures.
  • Temporarily suspend visitor access in classrooms and lunchrooms,

“It is important that we work together to help reduce our positive cases and exposures at this point,” the release stated. “If our positive cases continue to rise, especially for our staff members, it will be difficult for the school system to ensure face to face instructional settings in all schools. We ask that students, staff, and parents help out during this dificult period of the pandemic. Hopefully, this latest surge will be behind us soon, and we can resume our normal daily routines in school. We will begin the protocol revisions on Thursday, August 12, 2021. These protocols will be revisited at the board meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, based on the Covid-19 data in our county at that time. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Daily Status report, released Wednesday at 3 p.m., shows Monroe County has had 120 new Covid cases in the last 14 days.

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Categories: Education, Featured, Health, Local News, Monroe County