HCPS continues mask requirements inside school facilities and on school buses

Henrico County Public Schools will continue to follow the recommendations of health experts and require all students, staff and visitors to wear face masks at schools and facilities except during mealtime, when outdoors (with appropriate physical distancing) or when participating in designated athletic activities.
Mask use is a vital component of the division’s layered prevention measures, which reduce the spread of illness in our schools and increase the division’s ability to offer in-person instruction as mandated by state law.
SB 1303 requires all public school divisions in the commonwealth to “provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The CDC continues to recommend using masks in schools, and federal law requires the use of face coverings while on school buses.
The HCPS School Board and administration respect that parents make decisions for their families; however, division leaders must make decisions for the collective safety of nearly 49,000 students and 10,000 employees and fulfill HCPS’ responsibility to provide in-person instruction.
“We take our responsibility to support in-person teaching and learning very seriously,” said School Board Chairwoman Marcie Shea. “Masks, as part of layered mitigation strategies, are currently necessary to accomplish this. My board colleagues and I will always consider the latest health guidance and data to make decisions in the best interest of the Henrico community.”
The school board unanimously approved face mask requirements in August 2021, before the statewide emergency health order was enacted. The HCPS Health Committee continues to advise the school board and school administration on aspects of HCPS’ health and safety plan.