Shelby Co. schools optional mask

Should schools still be requiring masks?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County Schools made masks optional beginning today, joining several other school districts in relaxing their mandates.

Most school districts locally are keeping mask mandates until the end of the year, but some are ending them now.

Shelby County Schools said in a statement they extended their mandate until today to give space between the Easter holidays and now to monitor for any potential outbreaks as well as to give their staff the time to get vaccinated fully and inoculated, which takes two weeks after the final shot. They also say the majority of their staff is vaccinated -- and urge parents, students and visitors to be personally responsible so everyone can get through the year safe and sound.

That sentiment is echoed by health officials.

“You know your household and what your own risks are, and I feel that it’s still safe to leave that mask on while the kids are in session because if one of those children do become positive, now your child has to quarantine,” said Dr. Yocunda Clayton of Alabama Regional Medical Services.

The amount of COVID cases in students statewide has increased by a few dozen cases since last report, bringing the total reported to 360. Not all districts provide updated information.

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