More News:

August 18, 2020

Pennsylvania schools can implement face-covering breaks, officials say

State's universal mask policy applies to students

Education Schools
pennsylvania schools masks Austin Pacheco/Unsplash

Students returning to in-person instruction at Pennsylvania schools this fall will be required to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All Pennsylvania students older than age 2 receiving in-person instruction will be required to wear a mask during the entirety of the school day – with a few exceptions. 

A memo released Monday by the Department of Education stressed that the state's universal face coverings order, issued July 1, applies to students – even when six feet of social distancing is in place. 

The mask policy is part of the state's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when schools reopen for the first time since March. 

The memo listed three exceptions when students can remove their masks, but they must practice social distancing when doing so. 

Face-covering breaks can be incorporated into the school day, allowing students to remove their masks for up to 10 minutes if they are at least six feet apart. 

They also can remove their face masks when eating or drinking – again with social distancing in place – and when wearing a covering "creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task." 

Students with medical conditions or disabilities are exempt from the policy, but schools are permitted to require documentation. Athletes also are permitted to remove masks when actively engaged in workouts and competitions. 

Find more information about mask requirements for Pennsylvania students here.

Follow Allie & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @allie___miller | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Add Allie's RSS feed to your feed reader
Have a news tip? Let us know.