Mask mandate lifted for all Biloxi schools

Gulfport and Pass Christian schools still have mask mandates in place, but that is expected to soon change.
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 12:07 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Biloxi School District is dropping its COVID-19 mask mandate for all schools. Starting Monday, November 8, wearing a face covering will become optional for students and teachers in the district.

School Superintendent Marcus Boudreaux sent a letter to parents Thursday explaining the school board’s decision. He said current data places the district at a “Low Transmission” level. According to the Biloxi Public Schools’ COVID-19 Transmission Plan, that level is indicated by three main factors:

  1. Staff positivity rate of 1% or below.
  2. Student positivity rate of .25% or below.
  3. Harrison County positivity rate <5%. (measured weekly by CDC)

If those factors remain the same, all Biloxi schools will follow this protocol:

  • Masks recommended (not required) for unvaccinated students, staff, and visitors while indoors.
  • Masks recommended (not required) for unvaccinated individuals attending indoor extracurricular activities.
  • School operations such as lunch, breaks, field trips, etc. will occur with minimal (if any) restrictions.

Boudreaux also pointed out that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination is now approved and available for children ages 5-11.

Last month, school districts in Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Pearl River County, Hancock County, and the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, all moved to optional mask policies.

Gulfport and Pass Christian schools still have mask mandates in place, but that is expected to soon change.

Gulfport Superintendent Glen East told WLOX News masks will be recommended, but no longer required, starting November 29 when students and teachers return from Thanksgiving break.

Pass Christian Superintendent Dr. Carla Evers said her district will have a similar recommendation and transmission plan presented to the school board next Tuesday, with the goal of dropping the mask requirement on Wednesday, November 10.

“We communicated that we would follow our data and it is now consistently in a good place,” Dr. Evers told WLOX News.” That coupled with K-12 families now having options for vaccination gives us greater comfort in making the recommendation to move to optional face coverings. We appreciate our families for their continued support throughout this process.”

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