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MCSD returning to full in-person learning, masks optional

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 1:39 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Classrooms will be at full capacity this August with all Muscogee County students heading back for in-person learning, but district officials say they’re still working to keep students three feet apart. Another big change is the mask requirement.

Pre-K through second grade students in the Muscogee County School District will go back to school on August 6. Third through 12th graders will start August 9.

“We want to reiterate that we are opening up in-person, as the country has opened up with precaution, with these following precautions,” said Pat Hugley-Green, board chair.

According to the district’s 2021-2022 school year reopening plan, masks will be optional for students and staff. However, district officials add, per CDC guidance, it is recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks inside. Masks will be required on buses per federal mandate.

Superintendent Doctor David Lewis says they will continue to monitor local COVID conditions as they move forward with their reopening plan. “Based on, just that, our medical panel’s expertise, along with taking the CDC guidelines, but if you recall, they talked about local conditions and monitoring those closely. No guidance from the CDC can give us all conditions that we have all throughout the country.”

Board Chair Pat Hugley-Green says Muscogee County is barely scratching 30% of people vaccinated against COVID-19. “That is concerning. You know, that is concerning and I’m bringing this up because parents need to have childcare worked out in case we have to go virtual.”

The district will keep several protocols in place such as physical distancing and enhanced cleaning. Changes include getting rid of temperature checks.

The school district will also continue to follow its protocol for notifying parents of a positive case and encourage parents to keep their kids home if they’re not feeling well.

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