PA Dept. of Education updates guidance for when students can remove masks in school

Pennsylvania News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) –The Department of Education updated its guidance for when students can remove face coverings during school.

As of Monday, Aug. 17, the Department of Education says schools may allow students to remove face coverings under three circimstances.

Face coverings can be removed when students are at least 6 feet apart during “face-covering breaks” that last no longer than 10 minutes.

Masks can also be removed when eating or drinking when spaced at least 6 feet apart or when wearing a face-covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

According to the Department of Health, a “face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face.

On July 1, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings. This order applies to all students, staff and visitors age two and older while in school entities.

For answers to FAQs on the Universal Face Coverings Order, visit

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