In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, many states have required that people wear masks in certain settings. Recently, this includes the state of Pennsylvania. As the state gears up to open schools for in-person learning, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released guidance requiring masks to be worn within the schools.
The guidance released by the state Department of Education detailed when and where students are required to wear face coverings as well as when they are allowed to take them off. According to the Department of Health, all people in school buildings who are two years and older must wear a mask.
Who Does the Order Apply to?
Effective immediately and remaining until further notice, the following groups are required to wear masks in school buildings:
- Kindergarten through 12th grade schools
- Brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools
- Private and parochial schools
- Career and technical centers
- Intermediate units
- Educational programming for students in non-educational placements such as residential settings (boarding schools), residential facilities, detention centers, and hospital settings
- PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Programs and Preschool Early Intervention programs, and private academic nursery schools and locally funded pre-kindergarten activities
When Can Students Remove Masks?
The guidance released from the Pennsylvania Department of Education also included when students are able to remove their face coverings. This can be done in certain circumstances, such as the following:
- When eating or drinking when spaced at least six feet apart
- When seated at desks or assigned work spaces at least six feet apart
- When engaged in any activity at least six feet apart
Do Students With Disabilities Need to Wear a Mask?
It is important to note that students who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions, mental-health conditions, or disabilities will not be required to wear one. Individuals who need to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or has another disability where the mouth is needed to communicate are not required to wear a mask. However, they should consider using a different type of face covering, such as a plastic face shield.
Contact our Firm
Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.