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Atlanta-area faculties’ 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 differ by faculty district, even daily. 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 elective. 

Three weeks into the college year, greater than 23,000 college students and workers throughout the Atlanta metro space have needed to quarantine after being uncovered to COVID, based on one estimate. This comes towards 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 workers 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 my heartstrings and I worry about him getting sick,” she mentioned. 

A CBS News ballot discovered 58% of fogeys assist requiring masks in faculties in comparison with 36% who suppose they need to be elective and 6% who say they shouldn’t be allowed. A majority have been involved about their kids contracting COVID in school, however greater than half mentioned faculties mustn’t require the vaccine for youngsters who’re eligible.