Bristol, Tenn. Schools to require masks, parents may opt students out

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BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — Bristol, Tennessee City Schools will require students and staff members to wear face masks beginning next month, although parents will be able to opt their children out of the requirement per the governor’s executive order.

The school system announced Monday that masks will be required at all schools from Sept. 1 through Oct. 1. All individuals will be required to wear masks while indoors at all school facilities, including during athletic and other indoor events held outside of regular school hours.

“These more stringent measures are designed to be temporary until there is a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases,” Director of Schools Annette Tudor said in a letter to parents and staff members. “However, if there continues to be an increase in cases, our next steps would require us to close particular buildings or the entire district. I believe it is imperative to keep our students in schools and keep them and our staff as safe as possible. Therefore, I urge you to consider requiring your child to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Parents can find opt-out forms on the school system’s website. Forms must be submitted by Sept. 1. The opt-out does not apply to events held at school facilities outside of normal school hours.

A mask requirement is already in effect for Tennessee Middle School.

Kingsport City Schools and Sullivan County Schools have also issued mask requirements due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, especially among school-aged children.

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