OUR VIEW: COVID a curveball, but TCSS seemingly managing well

Published 11:30 am Thursday, December 16, 2021

In October, the Troup County School System updated its mask policy to reflect the status of COVID-19 in the community.

For the first time since March 2020, students were able to go to school without a mask, if they so chose. It was a huge decision, one that many in the community had been clamoring about for weeks, if not months.

The decision came with a stipulation — if at any point 1% of a school’s student population had COVID-19, then masks would go back on. So far, now two days from Christmas break, that hasn’t happened.

We applauded the decision back when it was made, thanking the school board for revisiting the data as it said it would. The decision allowed students (and parents) a chance to decide if they wanted to continue masking up. Some did. Many didn’t.

At the time, none of us had any idea what the decision would mean. Would students be back in masks a week later?

Many of us thought that by now a school — perhaps more than one —would have to put masks back on for at least a few days.

That didn’t happen, at least to this point.

There are challenges that lie ahead. COVID-19 is spreading pretty fast in parts of the country and the number of cases are rising in Troup County too. The holidays are a time where we all get together in groups, so that’s likely to contribute to the spread of more cases again, just as it did last year.

The omicron variant appears to be fairly contagious, adding another variable, so who knows what January brings.

However, half of the school year is over, and TCSS has adjusted as required to keep our students safe and to allow some freedom of personal choice for parents, students and teachers. It’s not a perfect system, but we think it’s worked well thus far.