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Comal ISD Trustees Make Masks Optional For Students And Staff

9-10-20 Comal ISD central office.jpg
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The Comal Independent School District has lifted its mask mandate.

A new safety policy approved by trustees Tuesday night makes wearing a mask optional for both students and staff. The new policy went into effect the following day.

In an email sent to Comal ISD families following the vote, Board President David Drastata said the policy change was intended to give parents a choice.

“While the choice to wear a face mask is now up to you, please note that quarantine protocols will still be in effect,” Drastata wrote. “We strongly recommend the continued use of face coverings to protect our teachers and staff, and your child’s opportunity to participate in spring sports, fine arts, prom, and potentially graduation.”

Comal ISD does not consider individuals at risk of infection to coronavirus unless they come into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus while unmasked. Drastata recommended the continued use of masks to avoid being required to quarantine.

Comal ISD’s policy change coincides with the lifting of the statewide mask mandate. Public health officials warn the end of the mandate could lead to another spike in coronavirus cases.

After Gov. Greg Abbott announced the end of the mandate, the Texas Education Agency left it up to local school boards to decide if they wanted to continue to require masks.

Most school districts in the San Antonio area have chosen to keep their mask mandates in place.

News of Comal ISD’s decision to make masks optional received mixed reactions on social media.

Some praised the decision, while others called it reckless. Several criticized the immediate policy change because it gave families no time to learn of the new rules and make alternative arrangements if they no longer feel safe sending their children in person.

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