MARIETTA, Ga. - All students, faculty, and staff members at schools within the Marietta City Schools system will soon be required to wear face masks while on campus, school officials said Thursday.
According to Superintendent Grant Rivera, the mask mandate goes into effect on August 23. Everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, will have to wear masks. The mandate also applies to any visitors.
Students must also wear face coverings while they are on school buses, officials noted.
In the letter Superintendent Rivera noted:
"I am greatly concerned about the high number of students, staff, and families who are impacted by the current quarantine protocol. To that end, given the aforementioned mask requirement, Cobb & Douglas Public Health confirmed that we can now modify our quarantine protocols. The identification of close contacts will shift from six feet to three feet of distance, thereby allowing us to use even more discretion in who is identified as a close contact and subsequently quarantined. With this new approach, we are confident we can keep more students learning in our classrooms with less interruptions to our families."
According to school officials, students will be permitted to temporarily remove masks if they are eating or if they are participating in an outdoor activity.
Several other school systems across metro Atlanta have recently announced similar masks mandates in response to an uptick in community spread and the highly contagious delta variant.
Last week, Fulton County School System expanded its mask mandate to include all schools.
The decision follows new data revealing all cities within the district are now reporting more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
In April, a group of Atlanta universities that includes Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College announced that all students, faculty members, and staff to be vaccinated for the 2021 fall semester.
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