SCS: Masks should be worn indoors at schools regardless of vaccination status

MEMPHIS, TENN. — Shelby County Schools announced Tuesday evening it is updating its safety protocols.

Superintendent Ray shared his updated COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year at Tuesday’s Board Work Session. Ray said the district is maintaining several health protocols while enhancing safety measures.

He made sure his message was clear Tuesday.

“Entering into our building, everyone must wear a mask,” Ray said toward the end of an SCS board meeting.

He said the district is mindful of the rising cases and the spread of the Delta variant. Therefore, masks should be worn indoors (schools) and on buses by all employees and students, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice.

“Monitoring the spike in cases with the Delta variant, we have decided that the safest approach right now is to continue to require masks in school buildings,” SCS spokesperson Jerica Phillips said.

SCS says COVID-19 protocols will still be followed such as social distancing as much as possible in classrooms, hallways, and cafeterias.

Water bottles will be provided and students are encouraged to bring their own.

The district also announced extracurricular activities will resume.

“We’re going reopen our playgrounds,” Phillips said. “We’re going to allow for athletics and activities. All still following the COVID-19 protocols All still wearing masks when you’re on the sidelines or at games.”

Phillips said the district feels these protocols are what’s best for the communities it serves.

“He’s looking at what experts are saying that’s best for our children,” she said. “So, we’re looking at the children that we serve. Our children and our demographic doesn’t look like the surrounding communities and so we’re doing what’s best for those students here in Shelby County Schools.”

Phillips also said SCS will continue to direct families to resources when it comes to vaccinations for students.

“If there are resources that say children can be vaccinated in our community based on 12 years and up and the CDC guidance, we certainly want to continue to partner with the health department, with others, Walmart, Kroger, others that provide the vaccine,” she said.

Additional details parents need to know from SCS can be found here.