Masks are a must-have item on Prince William County school supply lists.
Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) Superintendent LaTanya McDade announced in a letter to students, families, employees, and the community that masks are required at the beginning of the 2021-22 year, which starts on August 23. This rule applies to students, teachers, staff and school visitors, whether or not they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My commitment is to the safety of all students, teachers, employees, and families,” McDade wrote in the letter. “And we are committed to limiting disruptions to student learning caused by quarantines or illnesses, as well as ensuring we have the staffing necessary to avoid shuttering classrooms or schools.”
There are some exceptions, including those with medical conditions and students who have a disability where masking might not be an option.
The decision follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendation for universal indoor masking, and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)’s support of universal masking among students.
Recently, the VDH and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released guidance that recommended masks at elementary schools.
Virginia schools must offer in-person classes and follow instructions from the CDC, according to state law.
PWCS is watching the CDC and VDH and will make changes based on future guidance and circumstances.
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