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Germantown Municipal School District votes to drop mask mandate

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:56 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - New data in the fight against COVID-19 shows Shelby County is averaging more than 1,200 new COVID-19 vaccinations per day, though the weekly average of daily new infections is close to 1,700.

Despite the aggressive transmission of the omicron variant of the virus, one local school district is once again dropping its mask requirement.

The Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD) voted to drop its mask mandate during a special board meeting Wednesday night.

Members voted unanimously to “highly recommended” masking instead of requiring masks.

The district has had a mask mandate in place since the holiday break Jan. 3. This change applies to all students, staff, and visitors.

While there is no countywide mask mandate, Shelby County leaders say schools must still abide by the health directive that’s in place concerning classrooms.

“If the school district has any schools that are covered by the American Disabilities Act, there is a federal injunction that is still in place that upholds the mask requirement for those schools that is outlined in the Shelby County Health Department’s (SCHD) health directive,” said SCHD Dr. Michelle Taylor.

A federal order from December allows school districts to make their own rules on masks.

However, a separate federal order in an ongoing lawsuit requires GMSD to follow (SCHD) protocols.

Action News 5 reached out to the Germantown Municipal School District for more insight on its decision but has not heard back.

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