Tuscaloosa City Schools announced possible changes to COVID-19 policies currently in place after new recommendations from the Alabama Department of Public Health's back-to-school guidebook were issued Monday.

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Previously, Tuscaloosa City Schools had intended to relax many of its major COVID-19 restrictions including making masks and facial coverings optional for all students and requiring no proof of vaccination.

In a Monday letter to parents, TCS Superintendent Mike Daria said that those plans might soon change based on new guidance from the ADPH. TCS administrators and school nurses are currently reviewing the updated ADPH toolkit in order to make any changes before the fall semester starts.

"Based on our early review of the toolkit, mask-wearing and vaccinations offer the best chance to keep students in school five days a week," Daria said. "We recognize that this is something our community has told us that is important."

Daria said that taking these revised steps would decrease the number of quarantines TCS students may be required to take. He advised parents and caregivers to be prepared for policies in place to change, although TCS intends on keeping class in-person for five days a week.

Once TCS administrators finish reviewing the toolkit, new policy recommendations will be presented to the TCS Board of Education for consideration. Any actions taken by the Board will be communicated before classes resume on August 12.

"By working together, we can give our students the best chance of starting and remaining in school during this year," Daria said.

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