Lee County Schools won't require face masks, updates quarantine procedures for 2021-22 school year

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Jul. 29—TUPELO — The Lee County School District won't require masks when students return to school for the 2021-22 school year, the district announced as part of an updated "Blueprint for Beginning the School Year" released Thursday afternoon.

"Masks are not required for students or staff to attend school or work at this time," the mask policy reads. "MSDH/CDC recommend masks for students and staff while indoors at school."

The district also updated its isolation, contact tracing and quarantine procedures based on Mississippi State Department of Health guidance issued July 16.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 10 full days from the onset of symptoms.

Asymptomatic individuals with a positive rapid COVID-19 test who have a negative molecular-based COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the rapid positive can return to school.

Schools will continue contact tracing to identify individuals who are in close contact to COVID-19 within the school setting or in extracurricular activities.

Close contact to COVID-19 is defined as 15 minutes of cumulative contact over a 24-hour period at six feet with the following exceptions:

— Fully vaccinated persons in close contact with an infected person do not have to quarantine or get tested unless they develop symptoms.

— People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

— In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, unvaccinated individuals within three to six feet of an infected student do not have to quarantine if both students were wearing masks.

— In all other settings, the standard definition of close contact applies.

The full blueprint can be found on the Lee County Schools website under the "COVID-19" section.

blake.alsup@djournal.com

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