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Universal masking required in Prince William County Schools, superintendent says

Masks will be required for students, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Students, teachers, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks indoors at Prince William County Schools (PWCS) for the new school year, regardless of vaccination status, the superintendent said Monday.

In a letter, Superintendent Dr. LaTanya D. McDade said safety will remain top of mind as they get ready for the new school year to begin on August 23.

"My commitment is to the safety of all students, teachers, employees, and families. And we are committed to limiting disruptions to student learning caused by quarantines or illnesses, as well as ensuring we have the staffing necessary to avoid shuttering classrooms or schools," McDade said in the letter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) both recommend universal mask wearing for students for in-person learning.

McDade said PWCS will continue to monitor both the CDC and VDH for the latest guidance. 

Additional information can be found here, or on the district's back-to-school plan page.

Several other school districts in Virginia have also adopted masking mandates, including Fairfax County Public Schools, Loudoun County Public Schools, Arlington Public Schools and Alexandria City Public Schools. 

In the DMV, Spotsylvania County is the only district that is allowing some options for parents on masking in schools. In a 6-1 vote, the Spotsylvania County Public Schools Board approved to let parents decide if they want their kids to wear a mask. Students and staff must wear a mask indoors unless parents and staff complete an opt-out form. 

"Personally, I support parents who want to mask their children, I support parents that don't," parent Amy Sudbeck said. "I support parents making decisions for their own children."

See all local school district mask guidance here. 

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