HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville City Schools will keep its mask policy in place for the rest of the school year, despite Alabama’s statewide mask mandate expiring on April 9.
Huntsville City Schools health services coordinator says COVID-19 is still in the community and the district can’t afford to relax precautions just yet.
Huntsville City Schools says everything will remain the same when it comes to masking, social distancing and sanitization
“Huntsville City Schools will be continuing our mask mandate and nothing is really changing as far as what we are requiring,” says Huntsville City Schools Health Services Coordinator Andrea Penn.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its social distancing guidelines for schools in March and Alabama is expected to let the mask mandate expire on April 9.
“While we are thankful that the numbers are much better we continue to see a few cases here and there. And masking is one of the best ways to mitigate the risk for everyone so we have chosen to keep that in place,” says Penn.
While Huntsville City Schools received a new “Back to school toolkit” from the Alabama Department of Public Health reflecting the CDC’s updated guidance for schools, the district is not changing the 6-15 rule for close contacts.
“Also with the new changes with the CDC and the ADPH guidelines on the 3 feet versus 6 feet. The 3 feet is a stipulation with masking so that is another reason why we have chosen to keep the masks in place,” says Penn.
That means a student who is within 6 feet of an impacted individual for 15 minutes or more, still counts as being exposed to the virus.
Huntsville City Schools says it is too early to make a determination on what the mask policy will be for the 2021-2022 school year but officials will make the decision based on data when the time comes.