BRISTOL, Tenn. — Students, staff and faculty within the Bristol Tennessee City School District will be required to wear masks as well as follow all pandemic operational procedures for the remainder of the year despite rollbacks on the state and Sullivan County level.
“We appreciate the cooperation of students, parents, staff and community members in following our safety protocols throughout the school year,” a statement from the district reads. “We firmly believe these measures have been crucial in keeping students and staff healthy and our schools open for in-person learning.”
Director of Schools Annette Tudor made the announcement during a Bristol Tennessee City Council meeting Tuesday after Councilman Vance Turner asked about it.
Mask mandates in Sullivan County expired last Friday, and the Sullivan County Board of Education voted Tuesday to revoke all its pandemic guidelines.
Mask mandates in most Tennessee counties have also ended.
A district spokeswoman said school administrators have not yet determined safety procedures for summer school or the next school year.
City schools operate with safety procedures outlined in the board-approved 2020-21 in-person learning guide.
The guide requires students, staff and visitors to wear face masks while indoors and practice social distancing. Elementary students are permitted to remove masks while outside, but middle and high school students may only do so if social distancing can be maintained. Staff may remove masks when they are alone and may take mask breaks while outside and socially distanced.
The Centers for Disease Control and Tennessee Department of Health recommendations still endorse the use of masks, distancing and handwashing to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
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