COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA ( WJBF) — Masks off — that’s decision the Columbia County School Board of Education has made for summer school and the following school year.

The decision comes after a significant drop in covid cases in Columbia County schools.

“We saw some very good progress in the number of positive cases even though we lifted those restrictions,” Columbia County Schools superintendent Dr. Steven Flynt said.

New guidance from the CDC says people who are fully vaccinated can go without a mask indoors and outside.

Some parents said wearing a mask has had a negative impact on their child.

“I think that they’re doing more harm than good. Not just for health reasons, but emotionally for these kids they can’t interact with their peers, they’re being taught to fear germs and they’re being robbed of their childhood.”

She said making masks optional gives her children a chance to return to normal.

“I think parents should be able to make the health decisions of their children without repercussion.”

As the school system relaxes mask requirements, they are encouraging students who are eligible to get vaccinated.

“We’re asking students if they can to go out and get vaccinated. We’ll be sharing additional information on where students can go and get that vaccine so we hope that many of them will take advantage of that and we will continue to see in our community the numbers continue to go down like they have been,” Flynt said.

The mask mandate will still be in effect on school buses.