Maryland Elementary School Forces Kids To Mask Up Again

"Masks will become optional again following the 10-day period."
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 04: A surgical mask lies on a sixth grader's desk on the first day of classes since March at the GutsMuths Grundschule elementary school during the novel coronavirus crisis on May 4, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Across Germany tenth graders began returning to school last week and elementary school pupils are returning this week in cautious steps to reopen schools that have been closed since March as authorities lift lockdown measures that had been imposed to stem the spread of the virus. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A Maryland elementary school has reinstated its face mask mandate after several students tested positive for COVID.

Rosemary Hills Elementary School just north of Washington, D.C., is requiring the third grade class and school staff to wear masks for 10 days after “three or more” third graders tested positive for COVID.

“Masks will become optional again following the 10-day period,” Principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy wrote in a Tuesday letter to parents.

The ten-day period ends on September 11, according to a school district spokesperson.

The school is located in Silver Spring and is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools district.

Students at Rosemary Hills Elementary must wear masks “except when eating or drinking,” Kennedy said.

The school is providing KN95 masks to students and staff in the “identified classes or activities.”


Parents will also be sent at-home rapid COVID tests, and the school is asking them to report any positive test results to the school attendance office.

“Thank you for supporting us in taking these steps to ensure staff and students remain healthy for in-person learning,” Kennedy wrote.

In a back to school message to families, the Montgomery County school district said “masks are optional with some exceptions” and are “still required per CDC recommendations for individuals recovering from a COVID-19 infection returning after day 5, and may be recommended or required in outbreak situations.”

The school district also said that COVID vaccination is “strongly recommended” and that “staff and students will be notified about exposures to multiple cases in a possible outbreak situation.”

Rosemary Hills is not the only entity resurrecting mask mandates this fall.

Morris Brown College, a private, historically black liberal arts school in Atlanta, announced a two-week mask mandate last month.

There were no active COVID cases on campus, but several students at the other three colleges in the Atlanta University Center system had tested positive after students returned to campus for the fall semester.

Morris Brown students were required to practice social distancing and were prohibited from having parties or large gatherings. They were also required to get their temperature checked when they arrived on campus, comply with contact tracing efforts, and isolate for at least five days if they tested positive.

A major Hollywood movie studio brought back its mask mandate last month as well.

The movie studio, Lionsgate, reinstated its mask mandate for most of its Santa Monica office employees after several employees tested positive for COVID. The studio said it would have contact tracing efforts and give out free COVID test kits. Lionsgate also asked employees to self-screen for COVID before coming to work.

Late last month, though, Lionsgate said it would lift its mask mandate again.

The White House has not recommended returning to mask mandates broadly, but the Biden administration has put out warnings about COVID as the colder months approach.

The administration recently recommended that many people get not only a COVID booster shot, but also a flu shot and a shot for RSV, a respiratory virus that can be dangerous for infants and elderly adults.

One doctor who is an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared an annual COVID booster to “a seatbelt in a car,” saying it is good to keep using it.

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