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Baltimore County school system requiring masks for all

TOWSON — Baltimore County Public Schools will now require masks to be worn by all students, staff and visitors, officials announced Tuesday.

“As we prepare to welcome students and staff back to school for in-person learning, universal masking is an important step to help maintain our community’s health and safety,” Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams said in a statement.

The mask requirements begin Tuesday.

The county’s public school system will become the latest agency to return to indoor mask mandates as COVID-19 infection numbers rise. School districts in neighboring Maryland counties have also issued requirements mandating masks in schools. As of Tuesday, Baltimore County is not requiring indoor masking in businesses. This week, the city of Baltimore reinstated indoor mask rules for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

The announcement in Baltimore County comes about two weeks after guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in areas classified as having “substantial community transmission” levels. County education leaders say their universal mask requirement is aligned with those guidelines issued by the CDC and additional advice from academic medical experts.

The local COVID-19 case rate has risen from about 17 cases per 100,000 residents to about 61 cases per 100,000 residents over the past three weeks, according to county figures.