Northam Declares Public Health Order Requiring Universal Masking in K-12 Schools

Governor Northam has announced a Public Health Emergency Order requiring universal masking in all indoor settings in Virginia’s K-12 schools. This order reinforces current state law, which requires Virginia schools adhere to mitigation strategies outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of July 28, CDC guidelines include universal masking for all students, teachers, and staff. SB 1303 was passed by the Democrat controlled General Assembly earlier this year.

Massive school funding continues to come into the state. In 2020 alone Virginia received $492 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to public schools and PreK-12 state-level education initiatives. This year, Virginia received approximately $939 million in ESSER II funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds directly allocate $1.9 billion to school divisions, with an additional state set aside of $211 million.

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