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Coronavirus

Columbus, Franklin County Health Departments Recommend Masks For New School Year

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District will enforce mask wearing in classrooms and for all indoor activities for at least the first five weeks of the fall 2021 academic year.
Jenny Hamel
/
Ideastream Public Media
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District will enforce mask wearing in classrooms and for all indoor activities for at least the first five weeks of the fall 2021 academic year.

Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health are both recommending all students and staff wear masks for the new school year.

The organizations said in an email statement that the masks will keep students safe in the classroom, and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It follows the guidance and the Ohio Department of Health on Monday that recommends unvaccinated staff and students wear masks when classes resume for the fall term.

COVID-19 variants have spread in recent weeks. The state health department is reporting 1,432 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

The Ohio Education Association is also encouraging school districts to adopt mask mandates. The organization that represents more than 120,000 teachers said it's concerned about the delta variant infecting students and potentially being more lethal.

The governor said he doesn’t have the ability to mandate masks in schools. Some districts, including Columbus and Cleveland, have already adopted policies requiring masking for this coming school year, but some state lawmakers support legislation that would make it illegal for schools to mandate masks for K-12 staff and students.