School board to meet about mask policy changes


In response to the new CDC guidelines, Austin ISD will hold a special board meeting on Wednesday, March 2 to discuss implementing a mask-optional protocol.

Under the new guidance announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Feb. 25, nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in an area considered to be low or medium risk, and residents there are advised they can go indoors without masks.

Austin ISD released a Health and Safety Protocols Survey on Feb 25, asking members of the community for their input prior to revisiting their pandemic protocols which currently include mandatory masking.

The survey is open to anyone through March 6.

As of this morning, Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, officially announced that Austin is in Stage 3 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based guidelines.

Walkes told the Austin-American Statesman that while the Austin area is moving to Stage 3, guidelines will look a little different until spring break and festivals like South by Southwest are over in late March.

“We realize that Austin welcomes hundreds of events, races and international festivals and we are strongly, strongly recommending indoor masking until the end of the spring festival season through March 20,” Walkes said.

The Austin ISD school board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on AISD.TV and the Austin ISD Facebook page.