Does the US government require schoolchildren to wear masks?

Thursday, February 17, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

At the federal level, the Centers for Disease Control recommends all schoolchildren above the age of two wear masks inside, but does not legally require it.

Individual states have taken action to enforce school mask mandates in some cases and ban them in others. According to Education Week, 12 states plus the District of Columbia currently require masks to be worn in schools, down from 18 states and the district earlier this year. By March 31, 2022, six more states will end the mandates.

Four states have banned school mask mandates. An additional six have attempted bans that have either been suspended, blocked by courts, or remain unenforced.

Certain school districts have defied the statewide mandates, which have been challenged, sometimes successfully, in court.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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