Maryland Isn't Mandating Masks For Unvaccinated Students, Staff This Fall Local school systems will be able to set their own policies for the return to in-person learning this fall.
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Maryland Isn't Mandating Masks For Unvaccinated Students, Staff This Fall

Maryland is strongly recommending unvaccinated students and staff to wear masks in schools this fall. Dominique Maria Bonessi/WAMU hide caption

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Dominique Maria Bonessi/WAMU

While Maryland's health and education departments "strongly recommend" that unvaccinated students and staff wear a mask in school this fall, they stopped short of mandating it in updated guidance issued on Friday.

"Because we got so many people vaccinated, because kids have not been a big issue and hadn't been a problem for us for the past year, I don't think we have to require masks for kids," Governor Larry Hogan said on The Takeout podcast on Friday.

Drawing on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the departments also say that schools should maintain three feet of distance between students in a classroom and child care centers are encouraged to keep six feet of distance between unvaccinated adults and children.

Local school systems will be able to set their own policies. Montgomery County Public Schools officials said they will announce mask policies for the next school year on July 27. Prince George's County Schools officials havesaid they plan to follow CDC guidance on masking.

Maryland's guidance is less stringent than D.C. and Virginia. The District's public schools are requiring masks for when schools reopens at the end of August, though officials have indicated that may change. Virginia, which released masking guidance for schools this week, suggests that elementary school students and staff should wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status (while middle and high school students and staff should wear a mask if they are not vaccinated.)

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Masking on all regional public school buses is still required under a federal order.

This story is from DCist.com, the local news website of WAMU.

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