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Arlington & Collierville Schools say masks will be optional for students and employees starting May 17

This decisions come after recent announcements from Governor Bill Lee and the Shelby County Health Department, changing the mask mandates.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn — 5/13/2021 - Arlington Schools is joining Collierville in making masks an option for students and staff.

The decision comes after Shelby County Health Department released its newest health directive Wednesday. In it, masks are highly recommended in most settings but not required unless specified.

For Collierville and Arlington, masks will be optional starting Monday.

Other suburban municipal districts are taking different variations of the new directive. Most say they will continue with masks for now.

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5/12/2021 - (Collierville Schools News Release) - In conjunction with the Shelby County Health Department’s new health directive, effective Monday, May 17, masks will become optional — for both students and employees — across Collierville Schools. This decision comes from the most recent announcements from both Governor Bill Lee and the Shelby County Health Department, changing the mask mandate from a requirement to a recommendation. Since early May, the district has not had a confirmed student COVID-19 case, and all staff members have been given the opportunity to receive vaccinations.

Our masking update will continue into our Summer Learning Camps and the 2021-22 upcoming academic school year. Please note, Collierville Schools reserves the right to require masks again in the future, based upon changing conditions and future guidance from state and local authorities. “We are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel,” said Superintendent Dr. Gary Lilly. “Our families, students, and staff have been incredibly flexible throughout this entire school year — you are the reason Collierville Schools is such a special place.”

Collierville Schools will continue to encourage student and staff to maintain social distancing and frequent hand washing, while our Coordinated School Health division will continue to manage and monitor districtwide mitigation strategies, including contact tracing and reporting of COVID positive student cases. "Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, we have asked our residents and businesses to make significant sacrifices. I'd like to thank everyone in Collierville, and all of Shelby County, for doing their part to protect each other. We are pleased with Shelby County’s decision to lift restrictions and mandates to replace them with recommendations in agreement with the remainder of the State of Tennessee,” said Town of Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner.