Cobb, Marietta schools won’t require masks on buses, indoors

The Cobb County and Marietta City school systems will not require masks on buses and indoors when classes resume in August.
The Cobb County and Marietta City school systems will not require masks on buses and indoors when classes resume in August.

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Cobb County and Marietta City schools will not require students and staff to wear masks on buses and indoors when the new school year begins next month.

Both districts are sticking with the decisions it made earlier in the summer.

Since then, Georgia has seen an uptick in new coronavirus cases in Georgia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently issued guidance saying masks should be worn indoors by students and staff who are not fully vaccinated. Vaccines are not available to children under age 12.

Classes start Aug. 2 for Cobb students and Aug. 3 for Marietta students.

In an email to Marietta City parents, teachers and students, Superintendent Grant Rivera said the district’s decision is based on its data that shows COVID transmission among students is low. More than 1,100 students attended summer school classes in-person and the district only had four confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the superintendent said.

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Rivera also said the district had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that were transmitted on a bus last school year or during the summer. He also said the district has a high percentage of staff members who have been vaccinated.

“As we consider each family’s ability to determine what is best for their child in terms of personal comfort and learning dynamics, our goal is to strike the right balance between safety, science, teaching, and learning,” he said.

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The health protocols for both districts will require students or staff who test positive for the coronavirus to isolate and to quarantine if they are identified as close contact. Both districts will also provide hand sanitizer in classrooms, on buses and in school common areas and clean daily high-touch surface areas in buildings and on buses.

“As we prepare for the first day of school on Aug. 2, we maintain our commitment to our mission as a school district: student success,” Cobb schools said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate our one team and especially our nurses, as they have contributed significantly to attaining our goal of student success.”

Last school year, seven metro Atlanta school districts reported more than 15,000 known cases of the coronavirus among staff and students.

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