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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Will Huntsville City Schools end the system’s mask mandate?

That was the question as system officials host a board of education meeting Monday morning.

School officials announced masks will remain mandatory for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors district-wide at the start of the spring semester.

However, beginning Friday, January 14, school officials will begin evaluating Madison County’s position on the ADPH COVID-19 risk dashboard each week, rescinding or continuing the mask mandate for the following Monday-Friday.

Officials hinted that the policy is not likely to change mid-week and may be re-implemented should a surge occur.

The mask policy may be rescinded if Madison County’s community transmission rate drops below substantial for seven of the last 10 business days; conversely, if mandatory masking is not in effect, school officials may re-implement the policy should Madison County’s community transmission rate surge into the substantial or high category for 7 of the last 10 business days.

Students, faculty, and staff who previously received an exemption will not have to re-apply; exemptions will carry over until the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Regardless of the policy in HCS buildings, masks will continue to be required on all HCS buses under a federal mandate.

Testing and exclusion guidelines from the fall semester will continue as they have, with an exception: those who don’t show symptoms of COVID-19 will have the option to return early.

Parents of Huntsville City Schools students, as well as staff and faculty, will be notified of any changes through regular communication systems, such as text messages, robocalls, and the HCS COVID-19 webpage.