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Masks to be optional at Metro Schools after Spring Break if COVID numbers stay low

School board to look at the latest numbers Tuesday night
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Posted at 5:07 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 08:36:51-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro's School Board will check the latest COVID numbers Tuesday night to make sure the plan to be mask-optional after Spring Break is still the right thing to do.

At the last school board meeting, there was both cheering and booing from people on both sides of the mask debate.

Last month, Dr. Adrienne Battle recommended masks become optional after Spring Break, but said her decision would be based on the case numbers they'd go over Tuesday night.

"My recommendation is we sunset mask requirements after March 11, which is the last day before spring break," Dr. Battle said at the February 22 school board meeting. "When students return, masks will be encouraged but optional; however, this assumes numbers trend in [the] right direction. We'll look at it at [the] March 8 board meeting."

The latest numbers are low. Fewer than five staff members were quarantined and there were 15 positive cases last week.

Out of more than 80,000 students in the district, 22 students were quarantined and 40 were positive for the virus. For perspective, right after the winter break, there were 938 students with COVID-19.

The board has also decided to move away from individual contact tracing. Now, if there is a case in a classroom, the whole classroom will be notified.

Dr. Battle said she reserves the right to change her mind on the mask decision any time if cases start to tick up again.

The school board will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday.