Masks continue to be recommended only in areas where community transmission is deemed high, or if a person is considered at high risk of severe illness.
“What we are really encouraging people, is if they have any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, it’s important they get tested so they can isolate and not spread it to others,” Mannepalli said. “Because the COVID-19 virus is still the most predominant virus circulating in our community.”
Many school districts across the U.S. scaled back their COVID-19 precautions before the start of the academic year.
The Hall and Gainesville school systems have not updated their guidelines since last school year, officials said Monday. Masks and vaccinations are not required, and neither system will report cases unless infections start rising.
“I hope so,” Mannepalli said when asked if COVID-19 may be going the way of the flu.
The pandemic is not over, she noted, but “we’re all learning to live with it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.