Masks no longer recommended at Austin Public Schools

(ABC 6 News) – Austin Public Schools announced its loosening masking requirements during its school board meeting Monday evening.

Their new guidelines are based on CDC recommendations. Now that Austin is listed as a county with "medium" COVID risk, masking is not recommended.

To determine community risk, the CDC looks at the case count as well as hospitalizations and hospital beds available.

"The COVID team stands ready, but at the same time recognizes that we might be in a new phase called endemic. So we might be at a more ‘called to action’ as needed, as we see a potential uptick or if they see something changing with CDC or some changing national or otherwise," Executive Director of Organizational Development and Administrative Services at Austin Public Schools John Alberts said.

The district says students can certainly continue to wear masks if they prefer.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the school board decided to discuss community feedback on school start times at a study session on March 31. Board members say they’ve received lots of emails so far.