Going into the second semester of the 2021-2022 school year, Gwinnett County Public Schools is updating its guidelines for face mask requirements to reflect county transmission.

Information shared on the GCPS website indicates masks will be required in all facilities during periods of “Substantial” or “High” community transmission. The school system will use information on county transmission from the Georgia Department of Public Health, found here, to determine mask requirements.

“While I believe our GCPS mask requirement has helped us and our community to mitigate the spread of COVID, conditions have changed and we are at a point where we can and should revisit mask guidance,” said GCPS Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts. “Know that GCPS will continue to strongly encourage masks during times of ‘Moderate’ and even ‘Low’ transmission as part of our layered mitigation strategies, and move quickly to reinstate the requirement for masks should community spread rise to the ‘Substantial’ or ‘High’ range.”

According to the school system, when community transmission has remained at “Moderate” level for two consecutive weeks, GCPS will transition to strongly recommending masks in all of its facilities.

On Monday, Jan. 3, GCPS will communicate via SchoolMessenger and post on the district website the status of community transmission and mask guidance for students returning to school on Thursday, Jan. 6. for the start of the second semester.

“Experience over the last 20 months has taught us how quickly things can change,” Watts said. “This plan provides the flexibility for our schools to safely manage that change. Working together, we will navigate the COVID-19 situation through the spring, ensuring we address the needs of students and staff.”

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Deanna Allen has served as editor of the North Gwinnett Voice since June 2021. Effective communication and creative design are her passions.

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