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Round Rock ISD board reinstates mask mandate, approves 'mask matrix'

The extension of the mask requirement had expired on Sept. 17.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees voted Wednesday night to reinstate the district's mask requirement. The extension of the mask requirement had expired on Sept. 17 and was originally scheduled for discussion and potential action during a Sept. 14 meeting, but it was postponed due to "public disruptions," RRISD said.

In addition to voting to reinstate the mask mandate, the board also approved establishing a "Mask Matrix" that district leadership will use to guide how masking will be enforced. The matrix outlines five stages for mask protocols, designed to align with both Williamson County's COVID-19 gating stages and Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines

Credit: Round Rock ISD

The board also gave Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez the authority to change RRISD's mask requirement if necessary due to legal action or enforcement by the Texas Education Agency.

RRISD said under the reinstated mask protocol, all students, teachers, staff members and adult visitors must wear masks on buses and while inside school buildings when six feet of distance cannot be maintained during the regular school day. 

Students and staff may remove their masks while seated in cafeterias and staff lunchrooms and while outdoors. Masks may also be removed for activities during athletics, physical education and fine arts classes if deemed appropriate by a coach, director or instructor.

Students and staff may opt-out of the mask requirement for health or developmental reasons. For more on the opt-out process, click here.

Also on Wednesday, a Williamson County judge granted a restraining order against RRISD, blocking its board from voting on censuring two trustees on the heels of controversial meetings in weeks past. 

WATCH: Debate over mask mandate in Round Rock ISD: Public weighs in

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