Masks no longer required in Philadelphia public schools beginning Monday

Face masks will now be optional, but strongly encouraged.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, September 12, 2022
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District leaders say the mask mandate will return if the COVID-19 Community Level reaches the high level, based on CDC standards.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia public school students will be in for a change when they return to class Monday morning.

Face masks will now be optional, but strongly encouraged.

The district only required masks for the first 10 days of the school year.

District leaders say the mask mandate will return if the COVID-19 Community Level reaches the high level based on CDC standards.

Masking may also be required in certain instances, like a school or classroom outbreak or after extended breaks.

The district also announced last month it is implementing mask-to-stay. Students and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, are no longer required to quarantine at home unless COVID-like symptoms are present.

Instead, officials said, they can return to school but are required to wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask for 10 days.

If a student tests positive, he or she must isolate at home for at least five days and do virtual learning. If the student is symptom-free after five days they can return to school but must wear a high-quality mask for five days and eat in a designated area.

Vaccines are required for teachers and staff, and the district says as of mid-August 89% are vaccinated.