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Staff file Photo by Paul Leach | This is the exterior the the Cleveland City Schools administration building.

Two local school districts will make changes next week in response to rising COVID-19 cases across the Southeast Tennessee region.

Grundy County Schools will close for the week because of rising COVID-19 case numbers in the county, according to a Facebook post Thursday afternoon. The district will use stockpile or inclement weather days, according to the post, and all extracurricular activities will be canceled.

The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education voted to approve a mask requirement for students and staff in classrooms where social distancing is not possible at a meeting Thursday.

The requirement goes into effect Tuesday and will include a parental opt-out for students in accordance with Gov. Bill Lee's August executive order overriding local districts to require that option. The district will use an opt-out form through Google Forms for teachers to know which parents have opted their children out of the requirement and will revisit the requirement at a meeting next month.

— Compiled by Anika Chaturvedi

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