Starting July 1, Charles County Public Schools in Maryland will no longer require masks on school grounds.
The Tuesday announcement said that students, staff and visitors are strongly encouraged to continue using masks, but may do so voluntarily.
Before announcing the change, the school system discussed it with the Maryland State Department of Education, state and local health departments and county health officer Dr. Dianna Abney, according to a statement.
Lora Rakowski, a Maryland State Department of Education spokeswoman, told WTOP that school systems make decisions on mask use at the local level.
She said school systems that issue new guidance aren’t required to notify the state, because of Gov. Larry Hogan’s statewide ruling on mask use, which also goes into effect July 1.
Hogan announced earlier this month that all emergency mandates and restrictions would end July 1.
Though the new standards would allow unvaccinated staff and students to go maskless, health officials strongly encourage the unvaccinated to continue use masks.
According to the statement, students may be required to wear a mask if directed by a school nurse or if placed in medical isolation for potentially contracting COVID-19.
The school system said it has been offering a free COVID-19 screening program for students and staff since May.
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