Henry County Schools makes masks optional

Henry County Schools earlier this week made masks optional in buildings. AJC file photo

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Henry County Schools earlier this week made masks optional in buildings. AJC file photo

Masks are optional but strongly encouraged again at Henry County Schools.

The district, which had required face coverings in January because of the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19, lowered its risk level to 3 earlier this week.

“We have made it to the third week of the 2nd semester and are on the backside of the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our county and state,” Henry Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said in a message posted to the district’s website.

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“I want to thank you for all you have done up to this point to ensure that our school year could be sustained with in-person learning by adhering to all mitigation efforts to ensure everyone’s health and safety,” she said.

The decision follows similar moves by school systems in Fayette and Fulton counties, which relaxed their mask policies in late January as infection numbers eased.

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In addition to making masking optional, Henry’s switch to Level 3 allows reduced indoor capacity for athletic events, performances and at public meetings. Large employee meetings are required to be held virtually at Level 3 and spacing in classrooms is increased to ensure social distancing.

The district recorded 158 COVID cases for the week ending Jan. 28. The previous week, the district reported 157 cases. This school year, the district’s highest case count — 480 — was recorded the week ending Aug. 20.