Face coverings will be encouraged, but no longer required, inside all public school buildings across Frederick County, Maryland, beginning Friday.
But face coverings will remain mandatory on school buses due to a federal mandate, according to Frederick County Public Schools interim Superintendent Mike Markoe.
The county’s board of education voted 6-1 on Wednesday in favor of the move, which Markoe called “a significant change for us and a major step towards normalcy.”
He said whether or not to wear a face covering will be up to individual families, “with a few exceptions.”
Masks must still be worn on school buses for all drivers and riders, due to a federal mandate.
Masks will still be temporarily required for people who return to school after testing positive for COVID-19.
People returning from isolation will be required to wear face coverings “from the sixth through the 10th day after their symptoms first appeared.”
He said mask requirements when returning from isolation will be posted on the county schools’ website later this week.
Masks are still required in school health rooms or any clinical health setting where the CDC and other health guidance require them.
Markoe, in a message to the school community, said case investigation and contact tracing will no longer be conducted by school staff once the mandate lifts, but “contact tracing outside of schools will continue to be conducted by public health entities.”
He added that people will still be expected to follow CDC guidance for quarantine “if they have a known exposure to an individual infected with COVID-19.”
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