Metro Atlanta school district returns to mask-optional policy

MARIETTA, Ga. — Marietta City Schools students will return to the class next week with masks optional once again.

The policy starts Oct. 16.

Superintendent Grant Rivera said in a letter to parents that the district has seen a significant decline in COVID-19 cases for school-age children in Cobb County since early September.

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Rivera said cases in children have dropped even more dramatically than in other age groups.

Marietta City Schools has reported at least 327 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the school year.

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“We have seen the same decline in our MCS student and staff data, confirming that we now have less cases of COVID walking in our school doors,” Rivera said.

“The decision to transition to mask-optional is one more step in establishing some degree of normalcy in our schools, as the data indicates conditions have changed significantly from the start of the school year. "

Rivera said he understands some parents will be frustrated by the decision, while others will be relieved.

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The mask-optional policy applies to both classrooms and buses.

Rivera said that masks will also be optional at the homecoming dance on Saturday.

Rivera said he hopes the change will last, but that depends on the virus.

“My sincere hope is a MCS mask mandate will not return in our future; however, please know that we will continue to be responsive to the data,” Rivera said.

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