Camden County schools begin the new school year, masks required for everyone – Action News Jax

Camden County schools begin the new school year, masks required for everyone – Action News Jax

KINGSLAND, Ga. — School is in session in Camden County.

Students at Matilda Harris Elementary School showed off their first-day outfits, which included masks this year.

Camden County school officials made sure masks were on the back-to-school shopping list for all students this year. With rising COVID-19 cases in Georgia, specifically Camden County, masks are required for everyone on school property.

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Despite the county being in the red zone, kids walked to school with grinning faces and fresh, new outfits.

‘I’m wearing this baby Yoda shirt and camouflage pants that match,’ explained one fifth grader.

Mask-wearing is only one mandatory precaution on the list in the school district’s opening plan. In the cafeteria, there will be no keypads, salad bars, or self-service. Large assemblies have also been put on hold.

Some parents said they’re happy about the steps taken to ensure kids’ safety.

“I’m happy with what Camden is doing to keep the kids safe. Matilda has always been a great school so I’m happy,” one parent said.

Others want the mask mandate re-evaluated immediately.

“If a child wants to wear a mask, I have no problem if a child wants to wear a mask, but if a child doesn’t want to wear a mask, they should not be forced to wear one,” parent Michael Norman said.

Norman also said he doesn’t believe masks are effective. He also said his kids complain about having to wear them.

“My sons tell me they cannot breathe when they’re wearing the masks. They don’t want to wear the masks,” Norman said.

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COVID-19 or no COVID-19, that didn’t stop these students from having a memorable first day.

“I’m excited to see my teacher and do lots of fun things,” said one first grader.

School officials said they will re-evaluate the COVID-19 guidelines when the transmission index drops below 200. Right now, it sits at over 700, according to the Georgia Department of Health.

The transmission index reflects the number of new cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 residents. A low index would be 0-10. A high index is more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

Aside from COVID-19 guidelines, the school is also promoting bus safety with a new school bus tracking app.

The “Here Comes the Bus” app shows parents the real-time location of their child’s bus. Visit herecomesthebus.com to learn more.