By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
After being adopted by the Rutherford County Board of Education last week, Rutherford County Schools began its temporary mask requirement Monday morning.
The mask requirement is in effect now for all employees, students and visitors at the district’s 50 schools and the central office. The requirement will be for 30 days, from Sept. 13 through Oct. 14, at which time it will be reviewed at the School Board meeting.
To comply with Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order No. 84, RCS launched an online form Friday for those parents who wished to opt-out their children from the mask requirement.
As of Monday at 8:30 a.m., only 9.3% of students — 4,554 out of 49,039 total enrollment — had been opted-out of the requirement.
As part of the adopted Board policy, the RCS staff will monitor the COVID-19 positivity rate data in Rutherford County. The current positivity rate in Rutherford County is 20.9 percent, according the Tennessee COVID-19 Dashboard.
The adopted policy also includes metrics to determine when the policy will be automatically terminated or reactivated.
- The policy will automatically terminate if the average weekly positivity rate for Rutherford County reaches 10% or less for three consecutive weeks.
- If the first term is met and the procedure is terminated, but the average weekly positivity rate for Rutherford County reaches 15% or higher, the mask requirement will automatically be reinstated.
- If a student is identified as a contact of a positive case at school, the student contact is exempt from RCS-initiated quarantine if the student is wearing a mask unless the masked student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.