Henry County Schools issues mask mandate to battle COVID-19 surge

Henry County Schools will require masks be worn indoors when students and staff return to class from the winter break on Monday.

The district raised its COVID-19 management level to 4, which mandates masks indoors “when responsible distancing is not possible.” It also puts the kibosh on field trips and use of outdoor community facilities as well as allowing targeted closures of classrooms, grade levels or schools if necessary.

The change comes as the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus is surging across the metro area and nation. School leaders for Atlanta, Clayton, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Rockdale say their districts will switch to remote learning when students return to class this week because of the COVID-19 infection increases.

Prior to the winter break, Henry County had lowered its COVID-19 management to level 2, which urged students and staff to wear face coverings but did not mandate them. The district earlier in the year also was forced to close several schools temporarily because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Henry County Schools has recorded more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases since August. Fourteen metro Atlanta districts documented more than 40,000 cases during that time.