Gov. Kemp to restrict Georgia public schools from mandating masks

Coronavirus

FILE – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Atlanta. Kemp on Monday, May 10, 2021 signed a 2022 Georgia state budget that restores some money to K-12 education, increases some mental health funding, and pays nursing home operators more. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, file)

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign an executive order by Friday that would restrict public schools in Georgia from mandating masks.

The governor’s office says staff and students can still choose to wear masks or be encouraged to do so, but it won’t be a requirement.

Kemp says the state is experiencing record lows, thanks to vaccinations, in terms of positive COVID-19 tests, hospitalizations and deaths.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods is on the same page.

“Given the availability of vaccines and the sharp drop in COVID cases, I agree with Governor Kemp that it’s time for our schools to return to normalcy,” Woods stated.

He adds school-aged children do not spread COVID-19 at the same rate as adults, and only in rare circumstances do they experience severe cases if infected.

This new policy would go into effect June 1.

Right now, only those 12 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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