NOLA-PS to implement mask requirement regardless of vaccination status

State News

The requirement will start Friday, July 23. This will not affect the start of the new school year

Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students walk to class to begin their school day in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Three rural school districts in Johnson County were among the first in Texas to head back to school for in person classes for students. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Fresh on the heels of Mayor LaToya Cantrell issuing an indoor mask advisory for the City of New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools has taken one step further by announcing it will require masks be worn inside all school buildings, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, starting Friday, July 23.

Spikes in COVID-19 statewide has caused concern among local leaders and officials, with the Delta variant considered a more aggressive strain of coronavirus, with even children being affected. Citywide numbers have increased nearly tenfold in the past two weeks. While statewide, hospitalizations have doubled in that same time frame and the rate of positivity is over five percent.

Nearly all of the cases are from the COVID-19 Delta variant.

The NOLA-PS release reads:

“This requirement is designed to protect our youngest students who are the most vulnerable and not yet able to get the vaccine. The indoor mask requirement will stay in place until the city’s health data improves and after further consultation with our local health care leaders and NOLA-PS Medical Advisors.

“The full return to in-person learning for our students will remain in effect. As stated by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, in-person learning is necessary to provide the best quality education to students, and we will strive to preserve it throughout the 2021-2022 school year with heightened safety and health protocols as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The NOLA-PS COVID-19 Guidance will be updated online by Friday, July 23.

All other guidelines found there remain in place.

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