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Rutherford County Schools temporary mask requirement begins

September 13, 2021
 
By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
 
After being adopted by the Rutherford County Board of Education last week, Rutherford County Schools began its temporary mask requirement Monday morning.
 
The mask requirement is in effect now for all employees, students and visitors at the district’s 50 schools and the central office. The requirement will be for 30 days, from Sept. 13 through Oct. 14, at which time it will be reviewed at the School Board meeting.
 
To comply with Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order No. 84, RCS launched an online form Friday for those parents who wished to opt-out their children from the mask requirement.
 
As of Monday at 8:30 a.m., only 9.3% of students — 4,554 out of 49,039 total enrollment — had been opted-out of the requirement.
 
As part of the adopted Board requirement, the RCS staff will monitor the COVID-19 positivity rate data in Rutherford County. The current positivity rate in Rutherford County is 20.9 percent, according the Tennessee COVID-19 Dashboard.
 
The full text of the motion approved by the School Board is included below:
 
Move to approve a temporary mask requirement for students and Rutherford County Schools’ employees for thirty days beginning September 13, 2021 and running through October 14, 2021 providing parents of students the option to opt-out subject to the following terms:
  • The temporary mask requirement shall automatically terminate if the average weekly Rutherford County Covid-19 positivity rate is 10% or lower for three consecutive weeks.
  • If the temporary mask requirement terminates earlier than thirty days and the Rutherford County Covid-19 positivity rate becomes 15% or higher, the temporary mask requirement shall automatically be reinstated.

  • If a masked student comes into contact with another individual with Covid-19, the masked student shall not be required to quarantine unless the masked student is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.

  • The temporary mask requirement shall be reviewed again at the board meeting on October 14, 2021.
 
PHOTO: This sign was posted anonymously on the lawn of the RCS central office over the weekend following the School Board’s adoption of a temporary mask requirement last Thursday evening.