SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Masks are no longer required to be worn in Shelby County under new health directives and beginning this week multiple school districts will make mask wearing optional for students and staff.
The new health directives and the CDC recommend unvaccinated people continue to mask up. The CDC also recommends that schools finish the school year with mask-wearing and social distancing.
In Shelby County, 12 to 15 year-olds only became eligible to get their vaccine last week.
Schools that are pulling their mask requirements include: Germantown Municipal, Collierville and Arlington. Outside of Shelby Co., Tipton Co. Schools also no longer requires students and staff to wear a mask.
Districts that will keep requiring mask wearing include Shelby County Schools, Millington Municipal, Bartlett City Schools and Lakeland School System.
Millington Municipal Schools Superintendent Bo Griffin said the district opted to keep the mask mandate with only four days left of the school year.
“We’re in the routine so we figured since they’re still making adjustments to the Shelby County Health Directive we were going to stay with consistency that’s the key for our kids," Griffin said.
All municipal schools will end their school year this week or next week.
Collierville Schools spokesman Mario Hogue said the district's decision to make masks optional for the last week and a half of school was to prepare students and parents for the summer and next school year.
“The decision was to let’s start doing this now let’s not wait until the summer," Hogue said. "Let’s not wait until the beginning of the school year. Let’s just address this heads on and set very clear expectations as to what the end of the school year looks like what summer learning looks like what the new school year looks like.”
Millington, Bartlett and Lakeland said for summer activities and programming masks will be optional.
Shelby County Schools doesn't end their school year until mid-June.
DeSoto Co. Schools will keep their mask mandate. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeve's mandate has schools required to mask up through the end of May.