Mask mandate lifted at Hamilton County Schools

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Eighth grade math teacher Jasmine Everett directs a student on August 12, 2021 at Orchard Knob Middle School.

Masks will no longer be required for anyone at Hamilton County Schools starting Monday.

The decision to rescind any remaining requirements comes after a vote late last month by the Tennessee General Assembly to revoke authority from local school districts to impose such mandates - although the legislation is pending action by Gov. Bill Lee.

The district also cited wide availability of vaccines and lower caseloads of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This fall, we saw the delta variant increase the seven-day moving average of new daily cases to 366," the district said in its announcement Friday. "Since then, our community has seen a continuous and now rapid decline of cases. As of yesterday, our current seven-day average was 41 active cases."

District officials said they support parental choice in such matters.

"Our staff may request face coverings in situations where we need to be sensitive to immune-compromised individuals, especially when we have large gatherings," the district said. "We ask that you consider these requests as a courtesy to others in our community. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 data trends and guidance. As needed, HCS may re-establish mask mandates on a school-by-school basis in compliance with state law."

- Compiled by Ricky Young