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DeKalb County: latest school district to ditch mask mandate

District says masks will still be required on school buses, per CDC guidelines

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — With less than four weeks until the start of school in DeKalb County, the district announced masks will be optional.

The DeKalb County School District, one of the last Metro Atlanta school districts to return to in-person learning, is now one of the latest school districts to make masks optional inside and outside of the classroom for students and staff. Masks will still be required on school buses, according to the school district's policy.

No one with the DeKalb County School District would comment on the change in policy. It follows the decision made by several other school districts in the area, including Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb Counties. The policy change also comes in response to falling COVID numbers.

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Most DeKalb County parents who spoke with 11Alive felt that the school district's mask mandate should have stayed in place. Grandparent Eunice Warren is worried about the growing delta variant. She believes fewer students will wear masks if they are not required to wear them.

"When they drop the mandate, it means you don't really have to do it," Warren said. "I don't like that idea. I think they should have kept it there for a while because we'll suffer from the effects of that come fall."

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Several other parents were worried about potential health risks and transmitting those to other adults in their homes. 

DeKalb County ranks in the top ten in Georgia counties for the highest vaccination rates. However, some parents still find it concerning that less than 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.