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Tennessee governor extends school mask opt-out order again

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has again extended an executive order letting parents opt students out of school COVID-19 mask requirements that federal judges have blocked from applying in three counties.

The Republican’s decision Friday maintains the status quo on the opt-out order for two weeks while he considers whether to sign broad coronavirus bill that would limit mask policies in schools even further.

Lee also extended the ongoing state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic until Nov. 19.

In their recent special session, lawmakers passed a proposal that would in part largely prohibit government entities — including public schools — from implementing mask mandates except in dire public health circumstances.