All Loudoun County Public Schools students and school staff will be required to wear masks this fall, regardless of their vaccination status, the superintendent announced today.
Under the newly announced guidelines, students may remove masks while outside, and while eating and participating in physical education. For indoor athletic activities, students will wear masks while on the sidelines, but can remove them during play.
“Please know this is not a decision I made lightly. … We considered multiple data points, including community transmission rates, percent positivity rates, vaccination rates by age group and school-based data from the spring,” Superintendent Scott Ziegler said in a statement to families.
The announcement comes as concerns grow over the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The CDC had advised in mid-July that fully vaccinated students, teachers, and staff members should not be required to wear masks during class. However, last Tuesday, the CDC reversed its guidelines following an analysis of data concerning the spread of the Delta variant.
As of last week, only 54.7 percent of the state was fully vaccinated. The vaccine is not yet available to children younger than 12 years old, making grades K-6 exceptionally vulnerable to infection and spread of the virus.
The 2021-2022 school year begins on August 26.
For more on the district’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, go tolcps.org/ReturnToSchool2021.