ROANOKE, Va – State health leaders are supporting the recently issued mask mandate in schools.
The public health order requires individuals ages 2 and older to wear masks while inside all public and private schools this fall.
Deputy Commissioner for Population Health Dr. Laurie Forlano with the Virginia Department of Health said until all children have access to a vaccine, universal masking is the best way to curb the spread.
“Having kids in school is a benefit to them in many ways, but right now, obviously, we need to do that with some prevention strategies in place and consistent masking in schools will help reduce the chances of a child becoming exposed to COVID-19 at school, or a teacher, frankly,” said Forlano.
Right now, about half of the children eligible for the shot are fully vaccinated.
Forlano said local health districts will work with school divisions to oversee the change.