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Blount County to decide on extending mask requirements

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The Blount County Board of education is considering whether or not to extend masking guidelines.

In mid-September, Blount County Schools started requiring facial coverings inside buildings, on school buses, and during after-school activities. The masking requirement expires today. Officials will decide at a board meeting tonight whether or not to renew masking rules.

Blount County Schools issued the masking policy after a spike in coronavirus cases in September. Rodney Green, the superintended of the Blount County Board of Education, said that the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant took his school district by surprise.

“We did not expect this spike. The spike for lack of a better word, kindly threw everybody in the state for a loop. And we had to adjust again, and get stricter, back on protocols, and go back to the masks, even though we didn’t have a health order,” Green said.

Green said that the decision came down to either requiring masks, or moving classes online completely.

“Our numbers in Blount County got to a level to where we had to go back into a mask, or we were gonna have to shut down schools. And it is more unpopular to go remote learning and shut down schools than it is to wear a mask,” he said.

Blount County Schools said that it is continuing to monitor data in hopes that it can make schools mask-optional soon.

Connor Todd is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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