Students and staff in the School District of Philadelphia will be required to wear face masks for the first 10 days of the upcoming school year.
"For the first 10 days of the new school year – from August 29 through September 9 – all students and staff will be required to wear masks while in school, regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level. This is an extra precaution for everyone's health and well-being since increased end-of-summer social gatherings may heighten the risk of exposure to COVID-19," a post on the district's website notes.
After the initial 10-day period, mask-wearing will become optional, unless certain situations arise, such as "when the COVID-19 Community Level is high according to the CDC COVID-19 Community Level Indicators. In this instance, the District will notify families and staff that indoor universal masking will be required in schools, school buses and offices until the Community Level returns to medium."
And irrespective of the COVID-19 community level, mandatory masking could also be imposed in the event of a "classroom- or school-wide outbreak," or when school resumes after "extended breaks and holidays when increased social gatherings may heighten the risk of exposure to COVID-19."
The children and the workers involved in PreK Head Start programs will face compulsory masking irrespective of the COVID-19 community level.
"The whole thing is, mandates aren't working at all," Dr. Marc Siegel said, according to Fox News. "So, you know, they just obscure the question about whether there's any public health value in actually doing any of this. I mean, I think if you're at a high risk, there is. So if I was in an area with a lot of spread, and I was at high risk, I might choose to wear a mask indoors." Siegel said "mandates for ten days are like a sign of hypocrisy."