LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock School Board members voted Thursday to end the mask mandate for schools but continue to strongly recommend their use.

The board made a motion following that decision to take away the mask requirements immediately instead of waiting until Monday.

The decisions were made in step with recent CDC recommendations regarding schools in more high-risk and medium community levels, which makes masks optional for districts with medium levels

Pulaski County is currently listed as a yellow zone, which is a medium level. The only two counties in a higher level of risk are Ashley and Chicot counties.

The school board also made motions to remove contact tracing and quarantine requirements for the district.

They also voted to open future school board meetings to the public which would start next Wednesday.