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    Atlanta Public Schools Announces Mask Wearing Protocol

    Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will implement a Universal Mask Wearing protocol in all schools and buildings as we begin the new school year on August 5.

    In reviewing our data, here are a few key considerations:

    • Approximately 18 percent of our eligible students are fully vaccinated (source: Fulton County Board of Health) and approximately 58% of district employees have indicated that they are fully vaccinated or plan to be (source: Atlanta Public Schools survey data).
    • Children under 12 years do not have the option of being vaccinated and remain vulnerable to contracting and spreading the disease.
    • The Delta Variant is now the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the United States and may spread 225% faster than the original virus.
    • Consistent and correct use of mask-wearing has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all students and school staff wear masks regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and the CDC recommends that all unvaccinated people wear a mask. Given our low vaccination rates and increasing community spread, the CDC acknowledges that universal masking would be appropriate.

    Parents of in-person learners are asked to respond to the five daily health screening questions quickly and easily before their student reports to school.

    • Has your child had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or has any health department or health care provider been in contact with you and advised you to quarantine?
    • Has your child had any signs or symptoms of a fever or have taken fever reducing medicine within the past 24 hours or had a temperature that is 100.4F or greater?
    • Do you or your child have any of these symptoms? Fever or chills; New cough; Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; Fatigue; New loss of taste or smell; Sore throat; Muscle aches; Congestion or runny nose; Headache; Nausea or vomiting; or Diarrhea?
    • Since they were last at school, has your child been diagnosed with COVID-19? Has your child taken a COVID-19 test and are awaiting results based on mild symptoms or overall feeling unwell?

    Based on responses, the tool will advise whether the child can attend school.