JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. — After less than a full week of classes, Scottsboro City Schools has opted to eliminate the school system’s indoor mask requirement.
The Scottsboro Board of Education initially voted on August 6 to impose a mask requirement for the first week of classes, but opted against continuing the mandate in a special called meeting last Thursday.
In a letter posted to social media and signed by Superintendent Amy Childress, the school system says it based the new policy on the recommended guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Current guidance from ADPH recommends universal masking for students and staff, along with at least three feet of spacing between desks.
Masks or face coverings will still be required on school buses, per federal law.
The letter went on to say the school system will cooperate with contact tracing through ADPH, meaning students not eligible or refusing vaccination against COVID-19 may be required to quarantine for 10 days if identified as a close contact.
“Scottsboro City Schools appreciates everyone’s support in ensuring the well-being and safety of our students and community as well as support in these efforts to provide an enriching, in-person learning environment this year,” the letter read. “As long as COVID-19 remains a threat, we will continue to monitor and be responsible to the needs of our community.
As of Sunday afternoon, Jackson County, where Scottsboro City Schools are located, remained at a “high risk” for COVID-19 community transmission.
The Alabama Department of Public Health’s (ADPH) COVID-19 dashboard shows 109 new cases in Jackson County over the last seven days. 122 people have died in the county since the beginning of the pandemic.