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Maryland board votes to mandate masks in all public schools

by DrewLUD

Maryland’s State Board of Education voted Thursday to mandate face masks in all public schools across the state as the delta variant raises concerns about children returning to the classroom in person.

With the vote, the state board chose to overrule the few local jurisdictions that as of this week had not mandated masks: Worcester, Somerset, Dorchester, Carroll and Cecil counties.

The regulation still must be approved by a joint committee in the General Assembly, which is controlled by Democratic lawmakers.

“As a board, we have said so many times that our goal is to get kids back to in-person instruction,” said ​Lori Morrow, a state board member from Prince George’s County.

The Maryland State Board of Education has chosen Mohammed Choudhury as the next Maryland State Superintendent of Schools.

“Universal masking is one of the things that we need in our schools to minimize the number of students who are going to be quarantined and sent home.”

The board voted in support of a mask requirement that can last up to 180 days, though State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury said he expects the mandate will be re-assessed monthly.

The emergency regulation approved Thursday will require anyone entering a public school to wear a mask with a few exceptions. Masks do not need to be worn when children are eating or because of certain disabilities, for example.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service