Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Students Must Now Wear Masks at All Times … Even if Socially Distant

pennsylvania requires face masks on students all times social distancing

pennsylvania requires face masks on students all times social distancing

Pennsylvania Dept. of Education updated its guidance Monday on face masks for students in schools. Now, school students must wear face masks at all times while attending school in-person. That includes times when social distancing is possible.

Yes, even if students are 6 feet apart, the state Education Dept. is mandating that they wear a face mask.

There was no big announcement on this major change in guidance for schools reopening and planning to hold in-person classes. The updated guidance was hidden on an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on Universal Face Coverings on the DOE site.

There are few exceptions to this mandate. The only time when students can take off their masks are:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
  • Eating or drinking when socially distanced from other students
  • When the mask would create an unsafe situation when a student operates equipment or completes a task
  • During “face covering breaks” that are strictly regulated to just 10 minutes

face mask required pennsylvania dept of education august 17 mandate

Pennsylvania Education Dept. Now Requires Face Masks on Students at All Times

According to a Facebook post from State Rep. Russ Diamond, the Dept. of Education was motivated to make this change because of an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics which recommends children 2 and older wear a face covering at all times.

Now, that was their recommendation.

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Education took that recommendation and made it a mandate.

The difference between each has been a bone of contention lately in Pennsylvania, specifically with education. Remember, about 2 weeks ago Gov. Tom Wolf made a recommendation that there be no Fall high school sports.

And since making that recommendation, Pennsylvanians seem to believe he means it’s an order. The PIAA has been terrified to make a final determination on the Fall sports season even though it had previously decided to move forward with the Fall season.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Wolf also passed on making any orders or mandates regarding the reopening of schools at the end of this month. In a reversal of his pandemic response to this point, Wolf gave decision-making power to local school districts. And since then, local districts have been creating their own pandemic response plans and deciding how they’ll start the 2020-2021 school term.

In Schuylkill County, some schools have decided to go back to in-person learning while others have chosen to do a hybrid learning situation. That’s when half the student body attends school in-person some days of the week while other students are taking class virtually.

Updating Pandemic Response Plans

Part of those reopening plans have included how to handle the face mask situation and when students would be allowed to take them off throughout the day. It appears the Dept. of Education has taken care of that decision for them.

DOE says schools must reflect this updated order in their own plans. It’s also requiring local school boards to approve this mandate at their next regular meeting.

Pottsville Area school board members meet on Tuesday evening. They’ve promised to finally decide how they’ll start the new school term. And this change in guidance, among other changes, will likely be discussed.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

All schools will have to approve this mandate and then resubmit their pandemic safety plans to the Dept. of Education.


Image: License purchased via

Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!



  1. Daniel Kaffee

    August 18, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    It doesn’t matter. 3-4 kids in the district get sick, panic spreads, the schools will close through the Christmas break.

  2. PTFloridians

    August 21, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Stop Mass Hysteria…read the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From The Canary

PA Lottery Numbers

Wednesday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Saturday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Thursday's winning numbers

PA Lottery Numbers

Sunday's winning numbers

Local Sports

Here is a weekly update on coal region natives in pro baseball.

Pottsville News

Soup kitchen serves up to 100 needy people 4 days a week

Schuylkill County News

Last seen leaving his home at 5:30 a.m. Sunday

Minersville News

Police have not released the name of the victim.