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State Health Commissioner extends indoor school mask mandate through July

The Virginia Department of Education announced today (July 1) that the State Health Commissioner has issued a Public Health Order requiring masks to be worn by all individuals age 5 and older in indoor instructional settings in Virginia schools until July 25th. The requirement is intended to be temporary in nature, and the VDOE announced that separate guidance is forthcoming for the 2021-2022 school year. 

The previously established exemptions to the mask mandate continue under the new order. This follows the expiration of Executive Order 79, requiring students age 5 and older to wear masks when indoors in K-12 instructional settings, which expired at 11:59pm on Wednesday, June 30, at the end of the declared state of emergency. 

Additionally, please note that the Center for Disease Control federal order requiring masks be worn on public transportation remains in effect and does apply to school buses. 

Virginia guidance for K-12 schools for the 2021-2022 school year is forthcoming, following expected updates in guidance from the CDC which is anticipated in the near future. After CDC updates are published, Virginia will issue revised operational guidance for the 2021-2022 school year.