Chicago to Require Masks in All Public Schools at Start of New Academic Year
The nation press services
2021-07-26 | Since 2 Month
Chicago Public Schools will require everyone to wear masks in school facilities when the next academic year begins.
In a letter to parents and students, interim chief executive of Chicago Public Schools Jose Torres said the mask mandate will apply to students, staff members and visitors. Additionally, social distancing of 3 feet will be enforced and students will be scattered at meal times.
The new school year begins on Aug. 30 and will be in-person five days a week.
"The district's health and safety protocols are designed to provide all students with the in-person education they deserve while keeping everyone in our school communities healthy and safe," Torres wrote. "Our goal is to keep students healthy and safe while they learn in-person five days a week with their teachers and peers so they can receive the education and support they need and deserve."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance earlier this month calling for a full return to in-person schooling, with optional masks for fully vaccinated students and staff.
"Based on widespread scientific consensus, we know that proven strategies like the ones announced today will keep students healthy, safe and supported," Torres added
Chicago joins other jurisdictions like California in reinstating stricter guidelines as the highly-transmissible delta variant fuels an increase in new COVID-19 cases. The Virginia Department of Health on Thursday also announced that masks will be required inside elementary school buildings for students, teachers and staff regardless of vaccination status until vaccines are available to children.
Vaccines are currently available under emergency use authorization for people aged 12 years and older. Virginia recommended that middle and high schools implement a requirement that students, teachers and staff who are not vaccinated wear masks indoors.