HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The mandatory mask order applies to schools, according to guidelines updated by the state.

The order, signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine last week, does apply to children and adults in school, the Department of Education said yesterday.

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This is what guidance from the state says:

“This Order applies to all individuals while in school entities, including public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers (CTCs), intermediate units (IUs); educational programming for students in non-educational placements such as residential settings (boarding schools), residential facilities, detention centers, and hospital settings; PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start Programs and Preschool Early Intervention programs; and Private Academic Nursery Schools and locally funded prekindergarten activities.”

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The Department of Education says students and staff are required to wear masks because they count as members of the public gathering indoors.

Students can take their masks off if they’re eating and drinking when 6 feet apart, if they’re seated at desks or work spaces at least 6 feet apart and if they’re doing anything 6 feet apart, like going to recess.

There are exceptions that can be found in the order. For example, people medical conditions and under 2 are exempt.

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More information on the Coronavirus pandemic: