Gwinnett County Public Schools and Optional Masks in Second Semester

Masks being left off next year

Ian Livesey

Optional masks in the 2022 school year GCPS

Gwinnett County Public schools (GCPS) will change their face mask policy starting January 4th to follow the transmission levels for Covid-19. 

Schools in other districts like Metro Atlanta have already switched to masks being “optional,” which was announced weeks ago on October 28th, 2021.

“The mask policy will be in effect for all students, staff, and teachers in all schools and buildings. Cobb County Schools- Masks are optional for students and staff in school buildings, on school buses, and at extracurricular activities. Clayton County Schools- students and staff will wear masks at all times.”

Although sometime around August 16th, Metro Atlanta schools had made masks optional and recorded 4000 Covid Cases, taking them back to digital. 

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, in the second semester for GCPS schools:

  • Masks will be required in all GCPS facilities when community transmission is considered “substantial” or “high.”
  • After community transmission has been maintained at the “moderate” level for two back-to-back weeks, GCPS will transition to strongly recommending masks in all of its facilities. GCPS further explained that if Gwinnett County has been maintaining a “moderate” range for two weeks before the start of the next semester, students and staff will return to the classroom with masks being strongly recommended. 
  • GCPS said its mask mandate on buses will remain in compliance with federal mandates.

GCPS said that they will still follow Georgia’s DPHs guidance about isolation and the chances of another corona outbreak.  

For students: 

  • During times when masks are not required, students identified as close contacts will be required to quarantine, unless they have been fully vaccinated or have had COVID within the last 90 days. When students are in quarantine, they will be required to learn virtually through eClass or through materials provided by their teachers. 
  •  During times when masks are required, quarantine protocols will follow the same guidelines currently in place. If both students are wearing masks, students will not have to quarantine. 

For staff: 

  • Staff who are within 6-feet of a positive COVID case for at least 15 minutes, with or without a mask, must quarantine unless they are fully vaccinated or have had COVID within the last 90 days.