The Tuscaloosa City Council Board of Education will continue to require teachers, students and visitors to wear face coverings inside its buildings after a 5-2 vote during their meeting Tuesday night.

The Board first adopted a mask mandate to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in early August, just days before classes began and more than 10,000 students returned to in-person instruction five days a week.

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The requirement was set to expire in early September, but as new COVID cases continued to rise in the area, the Board voted to extend the mask mandate for around a month.

The extension would have expired Tuesday, but has now been extended again for two more weeks.

New cases are on the decline, though, according to internal data from the schools as well as inpatient metrics from DCH Hospitals in Tuscaloosa and Northport.

TCS Superintendent Mike Daria recommended the extension Monday night but said if the school system's two-week infection rates remain stable or decline in the next two weeks, he will not recommend the board extend the universal mask requirement any further.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates as they become available.

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