Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Lift Mask Mandate in Montgomery County Catholic Schools

kids with masks on mask mandate
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Starting February 28th, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be making masks optional and lift the Mask Mandate in all suburban Catholic schools, but not at schools within the city of Philadelphia, writes Nick Kariuki for WHYY.

The announcement was posted on the Archdiocese’s website this past Friday.

The new measures will apply to students and staff at the Archdiocese’s eight high schools across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties and over 50 regional and parish elementary and special education schools.

Within Philadelphia itself, the Archdiocese will continue to follow guidelines from the city’s Department of Public Health.

The letter cited “a significant drop in the number of positive cases within our school communities over the last two weeks” as the reason for the new policy change.

“Now, as positive case numbers are declining and the data regarding cloth masks has been updated, we are looking at steps to adjust our plan slowly in order to return to a more traditional school environment while keeping children safe,” the letter said.

Masks are still required on buses and required for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 five days after they’ve returned to school. Other COVID-19 protocols like social distancing, increased ventilation, and enhanced cleaning will continue to remain in place.

However, the letter encouraged unvaccinated individuals, those with medical conditions, and those who wished to wear masks to keep up the practice.

“We continue, in the strongest possible terms, to encourage all students and staff to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and booster,” the letter said.

While cases in Archdiocesan schools have declined, COVID-19 cases in the five-county region it serves still remains high. The Archdiocese said that it hoped waiting until the end of the month would allow additional time for cases to decline in the general population and prevent spread in schools.

The Archdiocese has stated that if cases surge in the county or in schools, it can make masks required again where necessary.

“Our goal is to continue providing educational services at every level in an uninterrupted fashion while maintaining a safe environment for all members of every school community.”

Read more about the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Mask Mandate at WHYY.



Image via CBS3 Philly.
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