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Fulton County Schools to end mandatory outdoor mask use next month

The school's systems changes to COVID-19 protocols will not apply to indoor settings.

ATLANTA — Fulton County's school system will end mandatory outdoor mask use next month, with new guidelines stating they will be "recommended but not required" for outdoor activities.

The school's systems changes to COVID-19 protocols will not apply to indoor settings.

Mandatory outdoor masking will end on May 3 for high schoolers, and May 17 for PK-8th graders.

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Outdoor event capacity limits will also be lifted, according to the guidelines. That includes at stadiums and fields for sporting events.

"School Leaders, in consultation with their respective community support organizations, may schedule and host outdoor end of year celebrations to honor the achievements of students without restrictions on group size," the guidelines state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly looking at revising its recommendations on the necessity of outdoor mask use.

“We’ll be looking at the outdoor masking question, but also in the context of the fact that we still have people who are dying of Covid-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said this week on the TODAY Show.

Dr. Ashish Jha, of Brown University, told NBC News: “We know that the virus largely spreads indoors and there's very little transmission outdoors, except in some very specific circumstances. At this point in the pandemic, with more than half of Americans vaccinated, it's pretty reasonable to start thinking about peeling back outdoor mask mandates.”

According to the NBC News report, some experts have continued to advocate for outdoor mask use as a way to continue to enforce COVID-mitigation habits, with many Americans still unvaccinated.

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