Henrico County now making face masks mandatory for all schools

Henrico County

FILE – A student wears a face mask while doing work at his desk at the Post Road Elementary School, in White Plains, N.Y., in this Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, file photo. U.S. health officials say the highly contagious delta version of the coronavirus is behind changes to mask guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week announced that fully vaccinated people should resume wearing masks indoors if they live in areas where the virus is surging. CDC officials said new information about the spread of the delta variant forced them to reverse course. The agency also said teachers and students everywhere should go back to wearing masks in schools. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, FIle)

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County Public Schools announced on Thursday that it is changing its stance from encouraging mask-wearing, to mandating it in all schools.

This universal mandate will apply to most indoor settings for grades pre-K to 12th.

The school district said masks will need to be worn in school whether or not students are percent, central offices, indoor P.E. classes, indoor recess, chorus and elementary music, band, indoor and outdoor athletics, orchestra and theater.

Face masks will not be required during naps, outdoor P.E. classes and outdoor recess. They can also be removed for band, theater and athletics performances and competitions.

HCPS said exceptions will be made for people who cannot wear a mask due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This announcement came just minutes before the State Health Commission issued a new public health order in Virginia requiring all students and staff in K-12 schools to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

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