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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – At the Madison County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, the Board unanimously approved several changes to the system’s COVID-19 plan.

Beginning Nov. 1, masks will be optional except on school buses, as long as COVID cases systemwide are below .5 percent positivity.

Masks will still be required at schools with a 2.5 percent positivity rate, according to the district. If a school’s positivity rate exceeds 5 percent, masks will be required and nurses will be required to take up close contact exclusions.

Schools that have mask requirements in place won’t be able to remove them until cases fall below .5 percent, according to the district’s plan.

The implementation of the new masking requirements is contingent upon numbers being below .5 percent systemwide on Friday, Oct. 29.

The district also approved turning over COVID-19 contact tracing to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The district’s full Ready, Set, Forward! plan can be found here.