Masks Optional in BCPS Schools on March 1

Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) announced that masks will become optional in all BCPS schools and facilities, starting Tuesday, March 1.

This decision was based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance released on Feb. 25.

Masks have been required in all BCPS since the start of the school year.

The Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) committee voted to approve the Maryland State Board of Education’s decision to lift the state mask mandate and to give local school districts the ability to make an independent decision about mask mandates. The CDC also announced changes to the metrics it uses to determine whether to recommend face coverings.

Based on new CDC metrics, Baltimore County is currently in the low transmission range.

“With a high vaccination rate and all of our metrics heading in the right direction, I am confident that we can now safely move to optional masking for students and educators,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I applaud BCPS for taking this step.”

“The Board of Education is committed to providing a healthy school environment for all students and staff,” said Board Chair Julie Henn.  “We are thankful for the extraordinary efforts, flexibility, and patience of students, families, teachers, support staff, and administrators over the past several months.  We appreciate the continued efforts of Dr. Williams and his team to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools, preserving in-person instruction.”

“We greatly appreciate the support of all members of Team BCPS over the past two years,” said Superintendent Darryl Williams. “Working together, we have been able to follow the science and safely return to in-person learning, keep school buildings open through the Omicron surge, and are now able to lift some COVID restrictions.”

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