Fulton County Schools to begin 'relaxing' COVID-19 restrictions, mask protocols

Fulton County Schools announced some future adjustments to its COVID-19 protocols during a recent Board of Education meeting. 

During the superintendent's report of the April 22 meeting, FCS Superintendent Mike Looney said Fulton County Schools will be taking a "measured, cautious approach" to relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates. The updates will happen in phases, district officials said.

Starting on May 3, masks will be recommended but not required for high school students and employees at outdoor events and capacity limitations for outdoor events will be lifted. 

The same mask policy goes into effect for elementary and middle school students and staff on May 17. Elementary and middle schools will also be permitted to host outdoor end-of-year events for students without capacity restrictions.

RELATED: Georgia mom blasts school board for making kids wear COVID face masks: ‘Take these masks off of my child’

All FCS staff, students and visitors are still required to wear a mask while inside a school district building.

The district's change in policy is in part a response to orders issued by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that rolled back many COVID-19 restrictions in place across the state on April 8.

FCS has stated that in-person instruction will be the default option for all students beginning in August 2021, but there are two virtual options. One would be to enroll full-time in the district's virtual school, Fulton Academy of Virtual Excellence (F.A.V.E.). The second option keeps students enrolled at their current school, taking courses through Fulton Virtual.

The district reported this week 3,501 employees are vaccinated. Fully vaccinated staff and students who are free of any COVID-19 symptoms are not required to quarantine after coming in close contact with a person that tested positive for COVID-19.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.