Health department says school mask mandate remains in effect in Shelby County

SHELBY COUNTY — The Shelby County Health says the mask mandates in schools remain in effect.

SCHD’s Amended Health Order No. 24, issued on Aug. 6 remains in effect in Shelby County.

Executive Order No. 84, announced by Governor Bill Lee on Monday does not nullify the Health Department’s Amended Health Order No. 24, a release said.

According to a release, the governor’s executive order states that parents may submit a formal, written request for their child to opt out of the mask requirement.

The risk of transmission of COVID-19 is greater when people are unmasked and indoors.

In the event that a child tests positive in a classroom in which some children are unmasked, the Health Department will require:

  • All children and staff members who have been within 6-feet of the positive case for a minimum of 15 minutes to quarantine.

In school settings where all students and staff members have reliably worn masks, the Health Department will enforce:

  • The 3-foot rule.

The approach is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics for classroom settings where masks are worn consistently, the release stated.

One of the highest risks of transmission that the county faces is the indoor environment which includes children who can’t be vaccinated or who will be in close proximity with others for many hours during school sessions.

Wearing masks in indoor settings such as this is a reasonable and responsible action to mitigate the spread of the disease, the release indicates.

Following these guidelines will contribute to keeping schools open and children in class, learning from their teachers.

The Department stands ready to assist any school or daycare facility in making their learning environment safer for children and the adults who work there.