The Pennsylvania Department of Education and Department of Health are requiring students over the age of 2 to wear masks at all times while in school.
The announcement came on Monday from state officials. The order applies “to all students, staff and visitors age two and older while in school entities.”
The institutions required to adhere to this order include: “public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers (CTCs), intermediate units (IUs); educational programming for students in non-educational placements such as residential settings (boarding schools), residential facilities, detention centers, and hospital settings; PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Programs and Preschool Early Intervention programs; and Private Academic Nursery Schools and locally funded prekindergarten activities.”
Just announced via @PADeptofEd in cooperation with the Department of Health: All students to wear face coverings at all times, while in school. This extends to instances when students and staff are able to maintain a six-foot social distance. Read more on https://t.co/VzcoJcDdrs. pic.twitter.com/ZScSTvmkqo
— Pa School Boards Asn (@PSBA) August 17, 2020
There will be a limited number of instances in which students will be allowed to remove their face coverings, according to the order. These include while eating or drinking, or during an activity that makes mask-wearing unsafe. Students can also take their masks off during 10-minute “face-covering breaks.”
The order is in effect for students, staff and teachers. It also applies to student athletes whenever they are not “actively engaged” in a game or workout.
Health officials recommended school districts enforce mask-wearing on school buses, in addition to during the school day.
Each school district was required to submit individual safety proposals, but the state’s face mask and social distancing guidelines apply across the Commonwealth.