Education, Health, Sci-Tech

Baltimore County Public Schools to require universal masking for students, staff, and visitors in schools this fall



UPDATE 2: Baltimore County Public Schools officials have provided additional details on the universal masking decision here.

UPDATE: The Baltimore County Parent and Student Coalition will be holding an “Unmask Our Kids Rally” in August.

Original story below…

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TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools will require universal masking for students, staff, and visitors in schools for the Fall of the 2021-22 school year, officials announced on Thursday. The current federal order for masks to be worn on school buses will continue.

The Board of Education of Baltimore County will conduct a special meeting on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. to update the Board and community on universal masking in Baltimore County Public Schools. More information about the special board meeting is forthcoming.

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students, families, and employees,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to impact our community. Universal masking is an important part of our multifaceted approach to mitigate the spread of COVID while keeping schools open for in-person learning.”

“I fully support Dr. Williams’ decision to protect Team BCPS students, staff, and visitors by adopting the latest mask recommendations from the CDC,” said Makeda Scott, chair of the Board of Education of Baltimore County. “As this crisis evolves, what matters most is that we continue to prioritize in-person learning by providing appropriate health and safety guidelines that respond to the latest conditions. I also join leaders across the county in encouraging all citizens aged 12 and over to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“We want our children REVVed up (ready, excited, vigilant and vaccinated) for the new school year,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer. “Requiring masks is an extra layer of protection for our students, teachers and their families.”

“Protecting the health and well-being of our children and educators is a top priority, especially as we approach the beginning of a new school year. With our youngest children not yet able to be vaccinated and with the growing spread of the Delta variant, it’s critically important we take steps to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I applaud the decision by BCPS to adopt the CDC’s latest recommendations, and I encourage every County resident who is eligible to receive a vaccine to do so as soon as possible.”

Fifth District Councilman David Marks was not pleased with the manner in which the decision was announced.

“Let me be very clear.  This ‘local leader’ was never informed about another BCPS mask mandate. I found about it on Twitter,” said Councilman Marks on Thursday morning. “Over the past 16 months, the County Council and other units of government worked collaboratively to address public health concerns. Collaboration does not mean learning about an edict like this on social media.”



A copy of the letter being sent to parents can be viewed here.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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