Catholic Diocese of Arlington instructs its schools to follow Virginia mask exemption order

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has instructed its schools to follow Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s mask exemption order that goes into effect Monday.

In a letter to school leaders, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Arlington Joseph Vorbach, said state requirements should be followed over local health guidance when masks become optional at the state level Monday.

He added the governor’s executive order “is clear on the right of parents not to have their child be subject to a mask mandate.”

Some public school systems, including Virginia’s largest school system in Fairfax County, will continue to require masks in schools.

In an email to WTOP, Diocese of Arlington spokeswoman Amber Roseboom said schools in the local Diocese will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for isolation and quarantining.

In Northern Virginia, 21 counties and seven cities fall under the Diocese of Arlington.

The letter said that heads of school and principals are responsible for sending out school-specific guidance.

“As always, we remain fully committed to partnering with parents to ensure their children receive a well-rounded Catholic education, fostering spiritual, intellectual and social growth in a safe environment,” Vorbach said in the letter.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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