Press "Enter" to skip to content

School mask mandates return as latest coronavirus variants surge

CDC data shows a “high” covid-19 “community level” in hundreds of counties. Some school systems have not decided, hoping the virus wanes before they open. In San Diego, school district officials mandated masks indoors on July 18, when CDC data showed San Diego County hit a high covid level and summer school was in session. In Los Angeles, health officials were considering a countywide indoor mask mandate for a list of settings, including schools, but on Tuesday, officials said that improving conditions could delay the decision, which had been expected Thursday. It is unclear whether the CDC plans to issue more guidance for schools as they reopen, a CDC spokeswoman declined to say. “We are constantly evaluating our guidance

In Nashville, where the community level is high, schools will open Aug. 8 with optional masking. In Kentucky, the 96,000-student school system in Jefferson County — where Louisville is located — chose from Day 1 to follow CDC guidance. In Georgia’s Clayton County, with a high covid community level, the indoor mask mandate includes employees, contractors and visitors starting in July 25. In Maryland, the mask mandate in Prince George's County was the longest in the state, ending only July 1, but the coming academic year is different: The school system decided to be mask-optional. Despite pandemic fatigue, high community levels of covid should mean school masking and surveillance testing, experts say.