August 18, 2020
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."
Under what circumstances are students permitted to remove their face coverings at school?— PA Department of Education (@PADeptofEd) August 18, 2020
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.