The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District will no longer require mask wearing on its campuses.
After monitoring COVID-19 transmission rates since the start of school, SOCSD Superintendent Eddie Peasant said in an email Monday the district is shifting its mask protocol from requiring masks to recommending masks for faculty, staff and students, effective immediately.
The district will reinstate its mask mandate if COVID-19 transmission rates increase to a 1 percent or greater positivity rate among students based on weekly reporting submitted to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Peasant said the positivity rate for the week of Nov. 29 through Dec. 3 was 0.4 percent, and the district has been below 1 percent every week since Aug. 30.
“The district encourages individuals to continue to practice good health hygiene, especially with the onset of flu season,” Peasant said. “The district will continue to follow established health and safety protocols as outlined in our Return to School Guide, including hand-washing, temperature checks, disinfecting and sanitation of school, classrooms and buses.”
Lowndes County School District already lifted its mask requirement, only recommending that masks be worn. Columbus Municipal School District is still requiring mask wearing for all faculty, staff and students.