Loudoun County Public Schools just announced that masks are now optional in Loudoun public schools. The announcement comes after Governor Youngkin signed a law requiring masks optional by March 1, 2022.
According to a release from LCPS superintendent, Scott A. Ziegler, the shift in mask requirements comes after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 739. The bill allows parents to have their children opt out from mask requirements in schools. The entire email announcement is indicated below:
Dear School Community, Students, and Staff,
We are writing to notify you of a shift in the masking requirements in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).
Senate Bill 739, which allows parents to opt out their children from mask requirements in schools, recently passed both Houses of the Virginia Legislature. On Tuesday, the governor signed the legislation and added an emergency provision to allow the law to take effect on March 1, 2022.
Although transmission rates in Loudoun County are high, they continue to decrease. To that end, LCPS will make a shift in safety protocols to allow parents to opt out their children from the mask requirement starting Tuesday, February 22. Other COVID-19 mitigation measures will remain in place.
Although masks are no longer mandatory, LCPS encourages the continued use of masks while community transmission rates remain high.
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration and LCPS require non-vaccinated employees to wear masks while transmission levels are high. Vaccinated employees may elect not to wear a mask.
Mask wearing on buses is still required by a federal order, which governs public transportation. If a student forgets their mask, the bus driver will supply one.
According to federal regulations, any preschool program governed by Head Start will continue to require masks.
As always, if your student is feeling sick or has a fever, please keep them at home and let the school office know they will be absent.
We ask our families to help us maintain a healthy and safe learning environment by staying vigilant and taking precautions that protect against the transmission of COVID-19, including outside our school buildings. We will continue to keep our families and community informed of any future changes to our mitigation strategies.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we work together to keep our students and staff safe and our schools open for in-person learning.
Scott A. Ziegler, Ed.D.