Schoolchildren can be bare-faced if they wish next week in D.C. Public Schools. The indoor face mask mandate is lifted next week, letting DCPS students do the same as other school systems in the area.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee sent a letter to families today explaining that starting next Wednesday, masks will be optional for students, staff and visitors inside buildings. The school system lifted its outdoor mask mandate earlier this month.

Ferebee said, “I want to strongly reiterate that all our students and staff are welcome to continue to wear a mask if they choose, and we will actively promote a climate where this choice is respected.” 

Masks will also be optional on school buses and during school activities.

COVID-19 is causing low levels of severe illness and resulting in limited strain on the healthcare system.

Earlier in the week, D.C. Health reversed its universal masking requirement for schools and childcare facilities. That gave authority to D.C. Public Schools, and charter operators to decide on their own if masking would be mandated.

The Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously voted earlier this week to lift its mandate for the 160,000-student school system in Maryland.

Schools in Northern Virginia were some of the first to reverse mask mandates after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a law in February banning districts from requiring face coverings on campuses.

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