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TIFTON — Tift County Schools updated its 2021 return policies in a statement released Tuesday evening.

“Tift County Schools, working in partnership with our local health officials, understands the need for our schools to be operational during the 21-22 school year,” school officials said in the statement. “As such, we encourage all eligible staff and students to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The system said it will keep close watch on each school and respond as needed.

Beyond encouraging masks, Tift County Schools had other suggestions, based on Department of Public Health suggestions, for students and staff upon return to school, including: social distancing, washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home with any symptoms of illness.

Mask use is encouraged for students, staff and visitors to school who are not vaccinated.

Facilities will be sanitized each day, with electrostatic machines being used for deep cleaning. Bus riders are encouraged to wear masks and sanitizer will be provided on the buses school officials said.

All positive COVID-19 cases must be reported “to the appropriate system contact,” the system stated in the policies.

Full policies are available at https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/1420865/Return_2021.pdf.

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