schooling in a pandemic

Mask Up! Philly Schools Bring Back Mask Mandate in Classrooms to Start 2023

Face masks are once again required in the Philadelphia School District from Jan. 4 to Jan. 13, 2023

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Yo Philadelphia public school parents and guardians -- be sure to send your child masked up to class as they come back from winter break.

The School District of Philadelphia announced in mid-December that starting Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, students and staff once again must wear face masks in classrooms, citing potential exposure to COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses over the holiday break. Face masks will be required through the second week of the new year.

"In an effort to be proactive in supporting healthy environments and maintaining in-person learning following students and staff returning from winter break, the District will implement mandatory masking from January 3 through January 13, 2023," the district said in a news release.

The district's COVID-19 Protocols left open the possibility of requiring masking out of holiday breaks. Mask wearing will be required at all times on campus in Pennsylvania's largest school district.

"This is a proactive measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in school, reduce absenteeism and prioritize in-person learning after the winter break," the district said.

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Ahead of the holiday break, the district began offering free at-home COVID-19 test kits at five school-based testing locations, while supplies last. Parents can also take advantage of the Biden administration once again sending free at-home COVID tests to homes.

The announcement of masking came after the CDC suggested people begin to wear well-fitting face masks again in crowded indoor spaces amid surges in COVID, flu, RSV and other respiratory viruses.

Camden public school students in New Jersey is also requiring to mask to start 2023.

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