Fayette issues temporary school mask mandate in COVID-19 battle

Fayette County Schools mandates masks for 30 days. AJC file photo
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Fayette County Schools mandates masks for 30 days. AJC file photo

Fayette County students will be required to wear face masks for the next four weeks as part of the school system’s effort to battle COVID-19.

The district on Monday sent a letter to parents saying the mandate is a reaction to a “rising number of positive cases in our schools and community.” The mandate, which went into effect Tuesday in all schools and Fayette Schools buildings, will end Sept. 17.

As of Friday, Aug. 20, the south metro Atlanta school system reported 266 positive COVID-19 cases (242 students, 24 staff). The number of people quarantined in the district during the period was 737 (730 students, seven staff).

ExploreFayette County Schools encourages residents to get vaccinated

“This rising number commands that we take action to help mitigate the spread of the virus so that our students and their teachers can remain in school,” the district said. “Layering tactics such as face coverings, hand washing, and distancing when possible is a proven strategy to help slow virus spread.”

Fayette is the latest county to switch to a mask mandate to stop the spread of the virus after beginning the year with face coverings as an option. As the more infectious delta variant has spread swiftly through schools across metro Atlanta, districts such as Fayette and, most recently its eastern neighbor Henry County, have made masks mandatory.

The district also said that beginning Aug. 31, students who have come in contact with someone at school who has the virus may attend class in person if they do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. If a child who has come in contact with someone with the virus does not feel comfortable coming to school, he or she can quarantine at home and learn remotely.