By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania students are now required to wear face coverings at all times while in school buildings, the Department of Education announced Monday. The Department of Education says they made the decision in cooperation with the Department of Health.

Students and staff members are now required to keep masks on even when they are able to maintain a six-foot social distance.


The new order applies to all students, staff and visitors age 2 and older inside school buildings including, public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers, intermediate units, educational programming for students in non-educational placements such as residential settings, residential facilities, detention centers, and hospital settings, PA pre-K counts, head start programs, preschool early intervention programs, private academic nursery schools and locally funded prekindergarten activities, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Students and staff are allowed to remove their face coverings when they are eating or drinking if spaced six-feet apart, wearing the face covering creates an unsafe condition or during “face covering breaks” where students remain at least six-feet apart for no more than 10 minutes.

The new mask update comes after the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their guidance to strongly recommend children age two and older should be wearing face coverings at all times to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The AAP also suggests parents start preparing their children to wear masks all day now so they are OK with it when it’s time to head back to the classroom.