Fulton county schools becoming mask optional

Brooke Yates, Staff Writer

Student chooses to wear mask even though they’re six feet apart from everyone in the hallway in order to keep them and others safe. (Credits: Brooke Yates)

As we head towards the end of the first semester, not wearing a mask hasn’t been up for decision. However, after tuning into the Fulton County school board meeting, the mask will become optional as Covid cases continue to decrease. This news comes with many wavering questions like, what will happen if Covid cases go up, will mask still be optional? Will not wearing a mask increase my odds of getting Covid if I’m already vaccinated? And what is Roswell doing to prevent the spread of Covid? 

 Superintended Dr. Mike Looney tells Fulton County residents that deciding on whether masks will become optional. A mask will be optional if Covid cases stay below 100 cases per 100,000 residents for two weeks and 30 days after vaccines become eligible for students five years or older. 

 This news was announced Friday, October 21. And as of Monday, October 17, Fulton County has 162 cases per 100,000 residents. Fulton county is one of three neighboring counties; Cobb and Cherokee county have not had mask mandates. This new adjustment will finally give students a sense of normalcy after dealing with Covid for two years. The superintended also shared what will happen if Covid cases do go up after mask is optional.  

Junior Lily Muth talks to me about her decision to wear face-coverings if they become optional. “While I want people to see my face, I’m not fully vaccinated and don’t want to get anyone sick on my account.” Students not fully vaccinated will be a common factor for why some students may still wear masks even after the mandatory has been dropped. When talking about the vaccines, Lily shares her plan for staying safe and healthy during these troubling times. “I just got my first shot of the vaccine; I’m still waiting for my two weeks to be up so I can get my second dose and be fully vaccinated. When I’m fully vaccinated, I won’t wear my mask while still being cautious.”  

Another action Roswell is taking to keep Covid cases down is keeping hand sanitizer available throughout the school halls. Custodian Morales says he makes sure he wipes down lunchroom tables with disinfection spray after every lunch period to keep our school clean and safe. “Wiping down each lunchroom table and picking up trash is very time-consuming but a necessity when battling Covid-19.” The custodians at RHS also replenish the restrooms with soap and paper towels to ensure we have the proper necessities to keep the germs away. Many teachers around the school also carry additional face-coverings in their classrooms. You can find extra masks in Ms. Bregeth, Ms. Miller, and Ms. Majors class and the clinic. RHS is in great shape to keep students and staff safe from all illnesses and viruses.  

While these new rules and regulations are exciting, it’s going to take a whole-school effort to make this profound change effectively. Taking helpful and healthy precautions will help us see the light at the end of the tunnel. Staying home when not feeling well and washing your hands will help keep Roswell staff and students safe and healthy.