Teachers, staff, and visitors required to wear masks in Clayton County schools again

All employees and visitors to campuses and facilities owned by Clayton County Public Schools will be required to wear a mask as of next Monday.

The district said the action is a "proactive step" to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the area, and in particular, among the student population. The policy also extends to school buses.

"As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the state and nation, we must take necessary steps to ensure employees and students are afforded a safe learning and work environment," said Dr. Morcease J. Beasley, Superintendent/CEO of Schools. "This is a necessary step to protect all that enter our schools and facilities."

The new mask mandate does not apply to students and complies with the so-called "Unmask Georgia Students Law." The law, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp at the end of March, prohibits teachers, administrators, superintendents, or school boards from requiring students to wear masks on school property, unless a parent or guardian can exempt their child.

The ban would last for five years until June 30, 2027, although lawmakers have acknowledged that a governor could override it if a public health emergency is declared.

Still, the school district will encourage the parents of the more than 52,000 students to have them wear masks when in school until cases drop.