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Atlanta-area colleges’ patchwork mask rules spark confusion among families

Atlanta — As college students are returning to the classroom, there’s been confusion and frustration over masking insurance policies. In some faculty districts, like these within the Atlanta space, there’s a patchwork of mask necessities as COVID-19 vaccination charges lag. 

Masking insurance policies fluctuate by faculty district, even each day. Douglas County modified its coverage two days earlier than faculty started, from masks really helpful to masks required. 

“Leading isn’t easy, and I know that the decision to wear masks, that isn’t popular,” Douglas County superintendent Trent North mentioned. “As soon as it’s safe, we’re going to go back to not wearing masks.” 

Schools within the Atlanta space have a number of insurance policies. Many require them — however generally, masks are really helpful or non-compulsory. 

Three weeks into the varsity year, greater than 23,000 college students and employees throughout the Atlanta metro space have needed to quarantine after being uncovered to COVID, in accordance with one estimate. This comes in opposition to the backdrop of a 17% COVID positivity rate in Georgia and mask hostility among residents. 

Atlanta Public Schools has mandated masks amid its low vaccination charges. Nearly one in 5 eligible college students are totally vaccinated and three in 5 lecturers and employees are additionally totally vaccinated or plan to be. 

Kathy King, a mom of two fifth-graders, mentioned she’s happy with the mask mandates. “At this age, nobody can be vaccinated,” she mentioned. 

Angel Touwsma’s 5-year-old simply began kindergarten. “It tugs on the heartstrings. I worry about him getting really sick,” she mentioned. 

A CBS News ballot discovered 58% of oldsters assist requiring masks in colleges in comparison with 36% who assume they need to be non-compulsory and 6% who say they shouldn’t be allowed. A majority had been involved about their youngsters contracting COVID at college, however greater than half mentioned colleges shouldn’t require the vaccine for kids who’re eligible.