All schools must require masking for all students, teachers and staff, under a new public health emergency order announced by Gov. Ralph Northam today.
Current law requires schools in the commonwealth to adhere to mitigation strategies advised by the CDC. Senate Bill 1303 was passed earlier this year, and also requires school divisions make full-time virtual and in-person learning options available to all students.
“We all share the same goal of keeping our schools open and keeping our students safe,” Northam said. ”This public health order makes it very clear that masks are required in all indoor K-12 settings, and Virginia expects all schools to comply. I’m grateful to the work of the General Assembly and the Health Department, and I look forward to a safe start to the school year.”
Virginia lifted its statewide mask mandate, but as COVID cases surged because of the spread of the Delta variant, masks are once again being proposed as a mitigation strategy.
As of this week, only 23.1 percent of adolescents in Loudoun County are fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The vaccine is only available to people 12 years old or older, meaning that most elementary school students are unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler announced on Aug. 2 that all students, teachers, and staff will be required to wear masks during the school day, except while eating and drinking, actively participating in physical education, or standing outside.
School begins in Loudoun County on Aug. 26.