School is back in session this week. Masks remain optional in most of West Alabama

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Schools around West Alabama are heading back to school this week, but will they be required to mask up once again?

For Tuscaloosa City Schools and the Tuscaloosa County School System, the short answer is “No.” For now.

“We are returning at this point the way we left, with masks being optional,” said Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Mike Daria. “We will be seeing additional guidance and reviewing that.”

TCS is asking that its employees and parents report positive COVID-19 cases, Daria said, because it helps the system make plans regarding its policies and procedures.

The same goes for the Tuscaloosa County School System.

TCSS Director of Public Relations Terri Brewer released the following statement to WVUA 23 News:

“We are continuing to move forward as we have all school year. At any point if there’s a change in protocol, TCSS will notify families directly.”

Several school systems around the state reinstated mask mandates or delayed the start of the spring 2022 semester amid the highly contagious omicron variant surge.

Daria said he’s not ruling out anything, but for now masks won’t be required.

“It’s tough to predict,” Daria said. Kind of like this whole pandemic. We don’t know what we don’t know. We certainly see and read what’s coming, but what we do know is that vaccinations are available in our communities for school aged children. That was really important for us early on, so we certainly encourage that for our families, our students and for our employees.”

Masks still must be worn on school buses as part of a federal mandate.

In other areas of West Alabama:

  • Bibb County: Optional
  • Demopolis City: Optional
  • Fayette County: Optional
  • Greene County: Required
  • Hale County: Optional
  • Jasper City: Optional
  • Pickens County: Required
  • Sumter County: Required
  • Walker County: Optional
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