Following updated health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale has announced that fully vaccinated students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks on school property.
"Fully vaccinated" means a person is at least two weeks past their second shot in a two-dose series — that's a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine — or two weeks past the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.
Ragsdale made the announcement in an email to staff and families. Marietta City Schools made the same public announcement within minutes of Cobb's.
"Over the last year and a half, our students, staff, families, and entire county have faced very difficult circumstances. Our students have learned, and our teachers have taught, through the COVID-19 pandemic with information about COVID-19 that has not always been easy to understand," Ragsdale's email reads.
The superintendent went on to say the CDC's updated mask guidelines for the fully vaccinated, which waive recommendations for wearing masks and physically distancing with few exceptions, led to the policy change. Students and staff who would like to continue wearing masks may do so, he added.
Ragsdale also said district officials "fully expect" that masks will be optional in the 2021-22 school year "as our cases are continuing to trend down and vaccinations are trending up."
"We are looking forward to returning our entire focus to teaching and learning as soon as possible, as One Team," he said.