NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Students in Metro Nashville Public Schools will no longer be required to wear masks when they return from spring break on March 21.
The MNPS Board of Education voted on Tuesday night to "sunset" the district's mask requirement after Friday, March 11.
Director of Schools Adrienne Battle recommended the mask requirement end when students return from break, citing the improving COVID-19 cases count in within MNPS.
"The number of COVID-19 cases has continued to decline week-over-week since the high of 1,225 cases reported on January 30. We had 132 positive cases among students reported last week, and 46 staff members. That’s still higher than at various points during the last semester, but a substantial improvement over what we experienced a few weeks ago," she said.
Across Davidson County, cases have also continued to decline in recent weeks.
"In other words, the situation around MNPS and Nashville is improving. But not necessarily improved to where we hoped to be at, generally. However, we have progressed rapidly to the point where we are at today and we hope the progress will continue at this pace," Battle said.
Her recommendation was met with cheers from those in attendance. But those cheers quickly turned to boos when Battle said the board should revisit the case count during its March 8 meeting.
Battle recommended the board review the policy before spring break, based on the most updated case counts. An outburst in reaction to this suggestion caused the school board meeting to take a short break while some attendees were asked to leave.
Battle also announced during the meeting that the district's contract tracing system will change. Specifically, if there is a COVID-19 exposure, rather than alerting those in close contact, the entire class will be notified.