Starting Monday in jurisdictions where it is possible, masks will be optional and voluntary at catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington.
In a letter to its school community, Secretary for Catholic Schools and Superintendent Kelly Branaman said the archdiocese’s approach “balances the desires of those parents, students, and staff who wish to continue to wear masks with those who do not, while still keeping our schools safe.”
The archdiocese has 90 schools located in D.C. and in five Maryland counties — Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.
In its Maryland schools, masks will no longer be required indoors for students, staff or visitors. Its schools will transition throughout next week. However, masks are still required in public transportation and public school buses due to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local regulations.
As masking in all D.C. schools, both public and non-public, is still a requirement, the archdiocese said it is reviewing the requirement and advocating with city officials to make face covering optional for students in archdiocesan schools.
“In the meantime, ADW Catholic schools located in the District of Columbia remain subject to the District’s masking order. As we receive additional updates regarding any change in status in the District, we will continue to share this information with our school communities,” Branaman said.
The decision to makes masks optional was made in consideration of vaccination rates, steadily dropping case numbers and recent guidance, among other factors.
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