ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp just signed an executive order that will remove mask mandates in school, starting June 1st.
It comes on the same day as the CDC rolled out new guidelines about masks at summer camps.
The CDC says fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks at summer camps.
Dr. Andi Shane says, “Some summer camps and activities are going to involve a mixture of people who have been vaccinated, especially the older children, and those older kids may not wear masks if that’s their choice. Children who have not should absolutely wear masks.”
But the CDC says schools and childcares should continue masking and social distancing, because students between 12 and 15 cannot get both doses before the school year wraps up.
Jason Esteves, Chair of Atlanta Public School Board of Education says, “Have your kids wear masks — that is aside from vaccinate that is the ultimate protection from this virus.”
“The more children we can get immunized, the better we will be,” says Dr. Andi Shane.
Esteves says, “Almost all our kids who have not been vaccinated we are going to our mitigation strategy, masking, surveillance testing, and encourage to eligible to get the vaccine.”
Although the CDC is likely to make changes to its school policy, for now, elementary students should be 3 feet apart, while middle and high school students should be 6 feet apart.
“We do surveillance testing. Every week we have our students and our teachers get tested. To ensure that no one in asymptomatic and carrying the virus,” says Esteves.
Dr. Andi Shane says, “Hand hygiene and masking are preventive measures.”
Researchers at the CDC says if you can’t wear masks, stay socially distanced, especially at lunch or during rehearsals.
The CDC also says schools may want to stagger drop off and pick up times, have desks face the same direction, and improve classroom ventilation.
Meanwhile, Governor Kemp’s new mandate that eases mask restrictions is so that schools can get back to in person learning and says local districts can encourage masks but just not enforce them.