Masks will no longer be required in Jefferson County Public Schools beginning Monday.
Under district policy, universal masking is required whenever Jefferson County is at the highest level of COVID-19 community spread. After three weeks in the red, Jefferson County fell into the yellow Thursday afternoon — triggering a return to a mask optional policy.
Masks are still expected to be required in schools and on school buses on Friday.
JCPS leaders had not made an official announcement of the change, as of 4 p.m. Thursday.
Students returned to classrooms, masked, last month despite heightened pressure on the JCPS school board to relax its mask policy.
Without a change to the district’s mask policy, masks will become required again if Jefferson County returns to the top community level.
Recent national data showed that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends universal masking in schools seeing high levels of community spread, only 0.6% of the country’s largest districts are requiring masks. JCPS is one of the three districts in the severe minority.
Less than one-third of JCPS students have at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to district data.
Jefferson County has a 17.88% positivity rate, down slightly from the week before. The numbers of new hospitalizations, average daily cases and deaths have also dropped over the past week.
Within JCPS, less than 1% percent of students and staff are actively positive for COVID-19 or quarantined. Nearly 4% of students and 1% of staff were in a similar situation this time last year.
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