School District of Philadelphia will require masks for first 10 days of new year

Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington and other district officials released details about their plan on Friday.

Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington and other district officials released details about their plan on Friday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The School District of Philadelphia has released its health and safety protocol for the new school year.

Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington and other district officials released details about their plan on Friday.

They say masking will be based on COVID transmission levels in the area and they will be following CDC guidelines.

However, masks will be required for the first 10 days of the school year, which begins August 29, because of summer gatherings.

After that, masking will be optional but recommended.

Officials also said that masking may be required in certain instances, like a school or classroom outbreak or after extended breaks.

School medical officer Dr. Kendra McDow also detailed another big change about COVID exposure.

"We are 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," McDow said. "Instead, they may 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 Friday 89% are vaccinated.

More details are available on the school district's website at PhilaSD.org/Coronavirus