Number of districts lifting COVID restrictions accelerates

By: | May 6, 2021

A growing number of school districts, concentrating in the south, have lifted COVID restrictions, allowing students to remove masks when at their desks.

Obion County Schools in northwest Tennessee has down-shifted to the least-restrictive COVID protocols, which account for low or no spread of the virus, WPSD 6 reported.

There is no restriction on class sizes though distance learning will remain an option for medically vulnerable or quarantined students, the station reported on its website.

In Georgia, the Jasper County School Board has voted to discontinue COVID screening at schools and on buses, The Monticello News reported.

School mask tracker: Who is and isn’t loosening the rules

The rural district has only reported three COVID cases since March 12 and if community rates hold steady or decline, the district intends to lift all restrictions on May 24, the newspaper reported on its website.

Here’s s list of how other districts are loosening COVID rules:

      • Blanchester Local Schools (Ohio): Students and staff can remove masks when outdoors and on buses with an open window. Students and staff will be able to remove masks inside on June 1, WHIO-TV reported.
      • Effingham County School District (Georgia): “The mask is moving from mandatory to optional for our staff members,” Superintendent Yancy Ford told WTOC 11.
      • Evans County School System (Georgia): Administrators lifted all COVID-19 mandates and restrictions on May 3, after having not received any reports of COVID cases among students or stsff since late March, The Claxton Enterprise reported.
      • Hays USD 489 (Kansas): Students and staff no longer have to wear masks at their desks, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. They will have to wear masks when in food lines, entering school buildings and congregating in hallways. The district will also stop taking students’ temperatures each morning.
      • Johnson City Schools (Tennessee): K-4 elementary school students can take off masks when seated at their desks but have them put them back on in common areas, reported.