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Mask, Social-Distancing Requirements No Longer Mandated by Ky. Dept. of Ed.

The use of cloth face coverings and social distancing measures are no longer mandated in Kentucky schools, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) said Friday, rescinding its COVID-19 guidance issued earlier in the pandemic.

The "Healthy at School" document included rules for public school districts to recognize as students returned to classrooms.

School districts may, at their discretion, continue to implement appropriate mitigation strategies that align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they work to respond to changing local conditions, KDE said in a news release. 

Individuals who choose to wear a mask as a matter of personal preference or comfort should be allowed to continue to do so, KDE said. The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) recommends, but does not require, that schools continue to follow CDC guidance.

The CDC will update its guidance for the 2021-2022 school year in the coming weeks, a news release said.

KDE will review other guidance documents the agency has issued related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said, and issue appropriate changes in the coming weeks.

In addition, the previous requirement from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services regarding school COVID-19 positivity reporting is no longer in effect.

-Staff report

Photo: Holmes High School in Covington (RCN file)