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Columbus City Schools To Require Face Masks This Fall

A sign outside Clinton Elementary School reads "All CCS Schools Closed 3/16 to 5/1 - Wash your hands!"
Ryan Hitchcock

Columbus City Schools announced in an email Thursday that it will be requiring face masks in schools and on buses for the 2021-2022 school year.

Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated students will be required to wear masks, as well as all staff in schools and administrative sites.

"The pandemic is not over and case numbers are rising again because of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in our community," Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said in the email. "Kids need to be in the classroom where they can learn and thrive and masks are an important tool for protecting staff and students who are too young to get vaccinated."

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Talisa Dixon said in the email that they felt the face masks were the best decision for the district and community along with the guidance of public health officials.

"Safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall is a priority, and masks provide an extra layer of protection in reducing transmission of the COVID-19 virus," she said.

Other health and safety guidelines the school will follow include three feet of social distancing between students where possible and banning use of water fountains. School visitors will also be limited to parents and guardians as well as the school district's student support partners — all of which will be required to wear masks too.

All sports-related activities and practices and extracurricular activities will also be held according to all health and safety guidelines.

All Columbus City School District schools except for one will begin on Aug. 26.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.