Richland school leaders reverse decision to make masks optional ahead of March 21

RICHLAND, Wash.– The Richland School District is backtracking on the board’s decision on masks in class.

On Thursday, the Richland School District announced masks would be required until the state’s mandate is lifted on March 21.

The school board voted Tuesday to make masks optional in classrooms. It then canceled classes on Wednesday and Thursday while school district leaders decided what steps to take next. However, schools will be open again this Friday.

Then, on Thursday when Gov. Jay Inslee announced when the indoor mandate would end. K-12 schools are included on the list of places that will be able to ditch them.

Washington’s Department of Health will issue new guidance for K-12 schools on March 7—two weeks ahead of the removal of mask requirements—to give local school jurisdictions time to plan and adapt.

Schools across the state will still be required to report COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in their facilities. Quarantine rules will remain in effect for students and faculty at Washington schools.

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