Fairfax County Announces Off-Ramp For School Masking After State Dems Flip On Issue

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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) announced a plan to eventually roll back school mask requirements Thursday, according to an email shared by the Fairfax County Parents Association.

The move comes after Virginia state Senate Democrats changed their stance on school masking Tuesday, only days after supporting Fairfax and other districts’ efforts to fight Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s mask mandate ban and keep universal masking in place.

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“Almost 2 years later, FCPS finally announces masking offramps, in a bid to stall allowing mask options until April,” the FCPA said. “Rapidly developing legislative developments will quickly make this belated plan moot.”

Fairfax will begin its “roll back strategy” after the surrounding community reaches moderate transmission for seven consecutive days, according to FCPA’s screenshots of the email. At that point, masking will reportedly become optional except when transmission rates in the community are high.

During outbreaks, “some students and staff may be asked to wear masks” even during mask-optional periods, the email reportedly stated. Employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear masks indoors at all times, and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine will continue.

“Because our plan is based on scientific data, we believe this plan gives us a roadmap to move forward safely,” the email concluded, according to the FCPA screenshots.

FCPS sued Youngkin in January over his executive order blocking school mask mandates, according to the Fairfax County Times.

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