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Columbus City Schools keeps mask mandate in place for now

Fifth graders wear face masks are seated at proper social distancing spacing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. in this May 18, 2021 file photo.
Mary Altaffer
File photo

As school districts around Central Ohio drop their mask mandates, Columbus City Schools will keep their facial covering requirement in place.

Speaking to the Columbus Board of Education on Tuesday, Superintendent Talisa Dixon said administrators will make a decision on the future of their mandate “as soon as possible.”

Dixon said the district is a large organization, and it’s hard to quickly shift such policies.

"We want to make sure that people are safe in our organization if we have to do something different,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the district will continue consulting Columbus Public Health and Nationwide Children’s Hospital about when to let students and staff take off their masks in classrooms.

Columbus has required masks in schools for all of the current school year. Many other Central Ohio districts have dropped their mask requirements in recent weeks, including the Canal Winchester, Dublin, Gahanna-Jefferson, Hilliard, Olentangy, South-Western and Upper Arlington districts.

A mask mandate remains in effect for indoor public places in the city of Columbus, although the city council is expected to rescind that requirement on Monday.