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ATHENS, Ala. — When students head back to school Aug. 11 in Athens, they will be required to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The district said Friday that Superintendent Beth Patton planned to recommend required masking to the Athens City Schools Board of Education.

All students over age 2, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks in school buildings, according to a news release from the district. Masks also will be required on buses, per the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The change would go into effect Aug. 10; students will return to schools the next day.

“This is certainly one of them! I know there are strong opinions on both sides, but in the end, we are responsible to do everything within our power to ensure the safety and well-being of our students- your children,” Patton said in a release.

Remote learning will not be offered at the district’s traditional schools; E-Learning will be available for students who need to isolate or quarantine.