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Frequently Asked Questions for K-12 and Early Care and Education (ECE) Settings: Information for School and ECE Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and Parents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using COVID-19 Community Levels to determine which COVID-19 prevention strategies are needed, including masking, to reduce medically significant disease and preserve health capacity. At low and medium COVID-19 Community Levels, masking is optional. When the COVID-19 Community Level is high, CDC recommends universal indoor masking in schools and ECE programs and other community settings.

In communities that are at a low COVID-19 Community Level, some people will choose to wear a mask based on personal risk and/or preference. They should be supported in their decision to do so. In addition, when the COVID-19 Community Level is medium, people at high risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19 should talk to a healthcare provider about wearing a mask and taking other precautions.

Schools and ECE programs should allow flexible, non-punitive, and supportive policies and practices around individual and setting-specific choices or reasonable accommodations. For more information about masks, including mask exceptions and mask recommendations for people with disabilitiesexternal icon

CDC guidance is meant to supplement—not replace—any federal, state, tribal, local, or territorial health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools and ECE programs must comply.

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