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Students, teachers and parents should adhere to the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — not local or state rules — regarding whether masks should be worn in schools, the Biden administration said.

“This is where we would advise any American to follow the CDC guidelines,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing Wednesday when asked by a CNN reporter whether students and teachers should follow states or the CDC.

The CDC advises wearing masks indoors for all students, staff members, faculty and visitors in K-12 schools, whether one has been vaccinated or not.

The issue of mask mandates has been a point of contention around the county, particularly in GOP-led states such as Virginia, where the state Senate voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in schools.

Psaki said there’s a distinction between the state leaders who let school districts decide their mask-wearing policies and the ones who punish districts for wearing masks, CNN reported.

“That’s why it’s also important to note the difference between leaders who are saying, ‘We’re going to leave it up to localities, local school districts to make decisions,'” she said. “No parent who wants to send their kid with a mask should be penalized. No teacher … who wants to wear a mask should be penalized or school district who makes that choice should be penalized.”

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