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ADPH’s Harris: No mandate but masking regardless of vaccination recommended in K-12 schools

The Alabama Department of Education is leaving it up to local school boards to determine whether or not masking will be required at public schools in the upcoming school year.

It is a decision that Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said he agreed with and acknowledged mandating masking was not feasible. However, he is recommending masking for children and adults at K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Harris explained his position during this week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal.”

“We do recommend that very strongly,” he said. “This is consistent with what CDC has said. It is consistent with what the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well — the pediatrician association in the country. We think it makes very good sense. We do not have a state mandate. I don’t see a situation in which there could be a state mandate. But we feel very strongly there should be universal masking in schools.”

Host Don Dailey reiterated the Department of Education’s position on masking, which is to leave it up to local school officials.

“That makes sense,” Harris replied. “Not every situation is the same. Some schools have more resources than others and more ability to put in place other measures. Some counties in the state don’t have the same amount of disease in those communities as other counties do. So I certainly think it makes sense to do that. But the overall recommendation, generally speaking, is that there should be universal masking of adults and children regardless of vaccination status in K-12 schools.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.