Parents worry about schools dropping mask requirements as Delta variant takes hold

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines recommending students and staff should wear face masks when returning to school.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Sandy Springs Monday, where some parents say Fulton County Schools should rethink making masks optional in school.

Regan talked to Beth, a registered nurse who did not want to use her last name. Her five-year-old daughter heads to kindergarten next month, and she’s worried that masks won’t be required for students and staff in Fulton County schools.

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“You have a whole demographic of kids that can’t get vaccinated and won’t for awhile,” Beth said. “I’m concerned for her, and not just her, other kids in the classroom.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics said it made its recommendation due to the low vaccination rates among children.

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“When they are in the classroom for an extended period of time, how are they going to handle that with the new variant coming out?” Beth said.

Beth expressed her concerns to Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney. He responded that there were no incidents of infection during a large summer school session with masks optional.

As for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he wrote to Beth via email:

“While I appreciate the CDC’s recommendations, the truth is their credibility has been tainted during the past year and I no longer feel comfortable following all of their guidance, but now factor in our local data and experiences in the decision-making process.”

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Beth wants to know where Looney is getting his number, since the vaccination rate is just 38% in Georgia. She said she will encourage her daughter to wear a mask.

Channel 2 Action News has reached out to the superintendent’s office but has not gotten a response.