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APS considers vaccine mandate after CDC releases new indoor mask guidelines

The CDC now recommends that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where COVID-19 continues to surge.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools said it's still considering a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for its staff and students but it's not ready to make an official decision yet. This comes after new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were released Tuesday. The CDC now recommends that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where COVID-19 continues to surge.

New information about the Delta variant having the ability to spread among vaccinated people, caused the CDC to make the new recommendations. The CDC also recommends teachers, staff, students and visitors should wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said the CDC's new indoor mask guidelines validates APS' decision to require masks for all students and staff in school buildings, on school buses and at indoor athletic events this fall.

"It is extremely validating and that's critically important because this process does not yield a complete 100% win across our community," she told NBC's Gabe Guierrez. "But it's critical to know that you know another factor was also tied to the increase of the Delta variant, as well as a rise in COVID cases starting to resurface."

APS said masks are not required during recess, physical education or outdoor activities. 

The first day of school for APS is Thursday, Aug. 5.