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Update to Masking Guidance While Eating, Jan. 6, 2022

January 6th, 2022

Update 1/7/22: The Maryland Department of Health posted Interim K-12 School and Child Care COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance on Jan. 6, in response to the recent changes in COVID-19 isolation and quarantine recommendations.

HCPSS has received questions regarding the updated masking guidance in schools and reached out to the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). MDH has provided confirmation to HCPSS for the revised masking and quarantine requirements announced recently, specifically as they relate to times when students will need to unmask while eating.

MDH is still awaiting official updates to K-12 guidance to be posted online by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, MDH confirmed to HCPSS that eating is exempted from the strict masking policy for early return from isolation or quarantine, because it is necessary for students and staff to unmask while doing so.

In cafeterias, HCPSS will continue to implement strict COVID mitigation efforts that exceed the recommendations of the CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

HCPSS appreciates the confirmation provided by MDH officials today and hope this provides greater understanding for families and staff.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the Howard County Health Department’s website. Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.