Madison City Schools drop mandatory masking, move to ‘mask preferred’

This begins Monday

Posted: Sep 17, 2021 4:53 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2021 5:16 PM

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols announced that the school system is moving to “mask preferred” for all schools.

This begins Monday and ends the mandatory mask-wearing requirement the system had in place.

Here’s the part of Nichols’ letter to parents about masking:

Finally, over a month ago when we started this school year, I required masks to be worn in our school buildings. At that time, I committed to review our data and when I felt that we could relax this requirement, I would make that change.

Since the beginning of the school year, we have seen a reduction of positive cases from around 1% of our school family to less than .4%. Today, I am announcing that beginning Monday, September 20, we will begin a “Mask Preferred” status for our schools. This “Mask Preferred” status encourages masks in our buildings but does not make it a requirement. Masking will still be required on all bus transportation.

Currently, with all students wearing a face covering, we are only identifying people who are within 3 feet of the positive person for more than 15 minutes as a close contact. If a person is not wearing a face covering, then we will be expanding the close contact distance to 6 feet around the positive person for those not wearing a mask. We ask that you continue to monitor your children for any COVID symptoms and please keep your child at home and contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation. If your child tests positive, please contact the school and school nurse as soon as possible.

As I stated at the beginning of the school year, I will continue to review the data for our district. If I see that the district or a school develops an increase around the 1% positivity mark, I will possibly return them to a mask required status until the rate decreases. Although we review this data daily, we will evaluate the need to change after fall break.

While I regret that we are still dealing with COVID, I am committed to being flexible to make the best decisions for our school district. Please note that all feedback is appreciated; however, I cannot answer every email that I receive on this topic. I do read your emails, and our team reviews this information in our decision making process.

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