Gwinnett County Public Schools issued a statement this afternoon requiring masks for all students, teachers and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, as part of its back-to-school plan.
The decision comes in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for K-12 students, according to the statement. The decision also takes into consideration the rise of COVID-19 cases in Gwinnett County and the ineligibility of students younger than age 12 for the vaccine.
“The facts and recommendations are clear…masks do make a difference and we must do all we can to keep students in school, in person,” said GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks in the statement.
Students and staff will also be required to wear a mask while riding a school bus.
As a result of the decision, parents have until August 2 to change their child's schedule from in-person to digital learning, or vice versa. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's school to request the change.
School officials will communicate times throughout the day when students may remove their masks, including during recess and portions of Physical Education and band classes.
Officials with GCPS are still encouraging staff and students to get vaccinated. The school district is offering a vaccine clinic in partnership with the Gwinnett Health Department at Discovery High School every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. until the end of August.