CDC issues new mask guidance as US Covid-19 cases rise
More major school districts are deciding to require masks in schools, following updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday, including Gwinnett County, the largest district in Georgia, which is now reversing its stance and will require masks.
Clark County Public Schools in Nevada, the fifth largest district in the country, also updated its mask guidance on Tuesday, following updated recommendations from the CDC, suggesting all K-12 students should wear masks in school.
“Once again, the District is committed to opening schools for all students for in-person learning, while promoting the health and safety of all students and staff,” a release said.
Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland will also require masks for all students, staff and visitors in schools, “regardless of vaccination status,” according to a tweet Tuesday.
“Face coverings are not required outdoors, but strongly are recommended for unvaccinated individuals,” the tweet went on to say.
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, where school starts next week, the district has reversed its stance and will now require students and staff to wear masks.
“Gwinnett County Public Schools has updated its back-to-school plans to require masks. As of July 28, 2021, masks will be required for students, staff, and visitors to all Gwinnett County Public Schools’ facilities and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status,” the district said in a release Tuesday.
The district cited guidance from the CDC and current Covid-19 rates in Gwinnett County as its reason in reversing its decision.
“The facts and recommendations are clear… masks do make a difference and we must do all we can to keep students in school, in person,” said Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.
Of the largest 20 school districts in the US, all are requiring masks for students when the school year begins, except for the districts in Florida and Texas, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Gov. Greg Abbott have banned mask mandates.
In Texas, “earlier this summer, Governor Abbott issued an executive order banning mask mandates on public school campuses so HISD cannot require them but those who want to wear mask may certainly do so,” Dennis Spellman, spokesperson for Houston Independent School District, told CNN in an email on Tuesday.