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Some school districts update mask policies

Two River Region area school systems are moving to mask-optional policies as the number of...
Two River Region area school systems are moving to mask-optional policies as the number of COVID-19 cases decline among students and staff.
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 3:20 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two River Region area school systems are moving to mask-optional policies as the number of COVID-19 cases decline among students and staff. Both Pike Road Schools and Elmore County Public Schools have revised their policies.

Elmore County Schools Superintendent Richard Dennis said masks became optional for students and employees on Monday but added “social distancing is not possible at base schools, so we encourage students and employees to take any necessary precautions, especially if they have underlying health issues.”

Pike Road Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter said the school board Monday approved his recommendation to make “preferred” mask use the policy on all its campuses, meaning that while masks are no longer required, “we still prefer that students wear masks.”

Dennis said the week saw a decrease in positive tests with only five employees and 55 students having reported cases.

“Our current Elmore County student and employee numbers are back to a level compared to the start of school and we expect it to continue to drop,” Dennis explained.

Ledbetter said there have been 223 total cases among students and staff since the start of the school year with only 18 reported in the most recent week.

He added that PRS now has a policy in which masking will only be required on a campus should it reach a 3% student population threshold that tests positive or is suspected for COVID.

Statewide, a total of 3,802 cases were reported in the latest week of data among students and staff by all the state’s 143 school systems. That’s down from the 6,382 cases a week earlier when 141 systems sent data to the state.

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