JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Jefferson County Schools has announced it will continue to require students and staff to wear masks through the end of the school year.
In a letter from Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin sent out Monday, he said the district is not at a point where “we can relax our restrictions or let down our guard.” This will include all traditional school activities, school-sponsored events and graduation. No plans have been made for summer school or the next academic year.
Gov. Kay Ivey previously announced she would no longer extend the statewide mask mandate past Friday, adding it will be up to Alabamians’ own “personal responsibility.”
Health officials and even President Joe Biden have encouraged states to maintain their mask ordinances while COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed. Ivey has said that Biden’s plea has not changed her mind.
“We have made progress, and we are moving towards personal responsibility and common sense, not endless government mandates,” Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said in a statement.
As of Monday, over 400,000 Alabamians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020 with more than 8,000 passing away due to the virus. Over 2.7 million vaccines have been delivered to the state with 1.8 million having been administered.
The academic year for Jefferson County Schools will end May 28.