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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Muscle Shoals City Schools will extend their mask requirement until Friday, October 1st.

A statement from Superintendent Dr. Chad Holden said the school’s Board of Education met Monday night and voted to extend the mask requirement a further three weeks.

“In the last four weeks, we have seen the highest rates of positivity in our communities that we’ve seen during the pandemic. Ninety percent of Alabama schools are now operating with some form of a mask requirement. Alabama’s K-12 schools saw more than 8,400 new COVID-19 cases last week, eclipsing the highest weekly total of roughly 4,000 cases recorded at the height of the pandemic last year,” Dr. Holden said in the statement.

Masks will need to be worn by everyone – faculty, students, and staff under the following conditions:

  • Inside MSCS buildings – this includes board of education meetings and indoor events
  • Aboard MSCS school buses or vehicles

Masks will not be required in the following circumstances:

  • When engaged in strenous physical activity (athletics/physical education); MSCS says students should mask up when not actively participating
  • Circumstances that require a mask to be removed – such as cases where somebody is having difficulty breathing, is unconscious or incapacitated, or receving healthcare that requires mask removal
  • Medical Exemptions – parents need to contact their building principal; MSCS may require paperwork from a licensed physician and ultimately decides if a student’s medical condition justifies an exemption

Students who forget a mask or misplace it will not be punished; MSCS says buildings will have spares.

Students who are defiant in not wearing a mask will be subject to discipline per the MSCS Code of Conduct.

The policy has been in place since August 11.