LIST: South Mississippi school districts announce mask mandate for students, employees

Students across the coast heading back to school this coming week. Several school districts are requiring all its students and staff wear masks.
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 12:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 2:05 PM CDT
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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Many South Mississippi schools are requiring students and employees to wear masks as COVID-19 cases continue to surge the state.

Here is a list of the schools that have made announcements so far.

Bay-Waveland School District: Beginning Aug. 10, a mask mandate will be in effect for all schools in the district.

Biloxi School District: All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks while inside of campus buildings and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status, according to a letter sent from the superintendent on Monday.

Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: The Diocese has not mandated masks across all of its schools at this time. However, in indoor areas where three feet of social distancing is not possible, the building principal may require masks.

Gulfport School District: All students and employees are required to wear masks. Students there have been in class for the last week but, come Monday, masks will now be required.

Hancock County School District: Students and employees are required to wear masks when unable to socially distance in school buildings beginning Aug. 3, the first day of school. When outdoors or when able to socially distance indoors, masks may be removed, according to the district. The district said this move will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Long Beach School District: Universal masking goes into effect on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 8 a.m. Any parents or guardians attending a Meet the Teacher event will be required to wear a mask while inside the school setting.

Moss Point School District: All students and employees are required to wear masks indoors. There are signs posted throughout the schools to remind students of the mask requirement as well as social distancing signs.

Ocean Springs School District: The Ocean Springs School Board voted on Tuesday, the day before classes started, that students and teachers are now required to mask up when inside school buildings.

Pass Christian School District: All students and employees are required to wear masks inside school buildings and on buses. The mandate will begin on their first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.

Pascagoula-Gautier, Moss Point and Picayune School Districts: All students and employees will be required to wear masks. The decisions were announced Thursday following the CDC’s recommendation this week that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors.

The PGSD has also partnered with Singing River Health System to give vaccinations to all district employees on Aug. 2 in the parking lot at Pascagoula High School.

PGSD’s new mask mandate will be re-evaluated at the school board meeting on Sept. 13, 2021.

Pearl River County School District: All students, employees and visitors will be required to wear face coverings on school campuses and school buses whenever it is not possible to socially distance. Social distancing will be defined as at least 3 feet of physical distance between individuals. The new “Relaunch Plan” will go into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Face coverings are not required to be worn outdoors or when eating meals. Other exemptions will be accepted for medical conditions and will require a physician’s order.

The new mask mandate will be re-evaluated on Aug. 25, 2021.

Poplarville School District: Students and employees are now required to wear masks while indoors or on buses. The district said they will re-evaluate the mandate on a month-to-month basis.

This story will be updated as additional school districts implement mask mandates.

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