Thomasville City Schools Now Requiring Students, Staff To Wear Masks Indoors
Students and teachers of Thomasville City Schools will be required to don masks this fall. The school district recently changed its back-to-school plan after consulting with a "multitude of external resources." The move comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidance on mask-wearing for vaccinated individuals. The federal agency now recommends all vaccinated people in high transmission areas wear masks in indoor public spaces.
In a letter posted to the schools' website, superintendent Raymond Bryant listed the CDC, Georgia Department of Health, and American Academy of Pediatrics as "external resources" the district consulted when considering the mask mandate. He wrote that the CDC's classification of Thomas County as an area of high COVID-19 transmission was one rationale for the change. He also points to the county's vaccination rate.
"Our current vaccination rate for Thomas County is 36% of residents fully vaccinated and 40% of residents with one vaccination," Bryant wrote.
Another rationale Bryant lists is the CDC's recommendation that all individuals in K-12 schools wear masks. He wrote that the school district will continue monitoring the situation and will respond accordingly.
COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be encouraged but not required for students and school staff. All learning will be in-person, and students will have assigned seating on buses. The school said in its statement that staff would disinfect schools and buses regularly.