Fayette County making masks optional in schools, mandatory on buses

Fayette County Schools lifted its mask mandate in buildings on Tuesday, but maintained the face coverings requirement on buses.

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Fayette County Schools lifted its mask mandate in buildings on Tuesday, but maintained the face coverings requirement on buses.

Masks are again optional in Fayette County schools, but remain mandatory on buses, the district announced on Monday.

The south metro Atlanta school system said it relaxed its face covering policy — which it had resurrected earlier this year because of the omicron variant — because the number of positive coronavirus infections has begun to decline.

The district recorded 128 COVID-19 cases last week, a slight decrease from the 134 cases recorded the previous week. The highest case count — 266 — was recorded the week ending Aug. 20.

“Based on these numbers, we have decided to go back to optional face coverings starting Tuesday, January 25, 2022,” the district said in a message to parents and staff.

The school system, however, said it is maintaining its mask mandate on buses in accordance with federal rules. That requirement, which applies to students, bus drivers, bus monitors and anyone else on school transportation vehicles, has been extended through the middle of March, the district said in its message.

While Fayette Schools has lifted its mask mandate inside buildings, leaders said they hope staff, students and visitors will wear face coverings for the protection of all.

“Although we are allowing optional face coverings, we are highly recommending that all students, staff and visitors wear face coverings while inside a Fayette County Public Schools building,” the school system said. “This is one of the best ways for us to continue in-person learning.”

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