Drivers should be aware that Rome and Floyd County students return to school Tuesday from their winter break, so traffic may increase after a lull during the break.

There will be a few changes. Rome City Schools students and faculty will be required to wear masks in response to increased COVID-19 spread, at least for now.

“While RCS is requiring masks for the first week back, RCS remains in Phase 1 of the COVID-19 three-phase plan,” Superintendent Lou Byars said in a release. “RCS will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.”

The city school board previously determined that if the number of COVID-19 infections exceeds a 1% student population margin, that school would enter Phase 2 and observe COVID-19 prevention measures. They’ll then reevaluate that plan after the two weeks.

Floyd County Schools will continue to keep schools mask free until they reach a threshold of 2% infection rate for a school population. At that point, that individual school would adopt a mask mandate. If the infection rate rises over 5%, that school will go virtual.

East Central

Parents will see changes to the car rider line at East Central Elementary on Tuesday morning as a result of a special purpose, local option sales tax-funded access road off Dean Avenue opening over the break.

The purpose of the $395,000 project from the 2017 SPLOST is to alleviate traffic on Dean Avenue. Traffic jams occurred during pick up and drop off times at the school, sometimes leading to drivers attempting to drive around lines of waiting cars.

“I was standing out here a few years ago on the first day of school, and we witnessed an accident happen as we were standing here,” Byars said during the ribbon cutting. “It’s been a problem for a while because this is a rapidly growing school.”

Drivers will take Dean Avenue to Bobo Street, next to Roman Martial Arts, to enter the school’s parking lot.

Shorter University will also resume normal hours on Tuesday after a power outage shut down classes on Monday.

Darlington School, which resumes classes on Wednesday, sent out a notification stating all students, employees and guests on campus must wear a face covering while indoors.

“This policy is in place regardless of vaccination status as omicron has increased the rate of breakthrough cases,” the statement from Head of School Brent Bell reads. “This policy also includes school-related activities off campus, such as on school buses and during indoor activities or field trips.”

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