Starr County issues indoor mask order for schools

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FILE – In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth-graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

STARR COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Starr County Judge Eloy Vera issued a public health order for all public schools in the county to require facial coverings on Friday.

The order states that the facial requirement should be implemented on staff, visitors, faculty, and staff regardless of vaccination status.

The county allows a school system to opt-out of the public health order if the school board majority votes to do so.

A three-feet of social distance is also recommended in classrooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The order comes after an increase of school-age children in hospitals due to COVID and children under 12 are unable to be vaccinated. The public health order is set to last nine weeks unless it is extended or rescinded.

Exempted from the order are kids under 4-years-old, people with a medical condition or disability that prevents using a mask. Activities in which the mask can be removed are swimming, eating, and outdoor physical activity.

Schools must notify the Judge’s Office if someone that was school-campuses tests positive for COVID, however, contact tracing is recommended.

Starr County is the second Rio Grande Valley county to implement a mask mandate for schools, Hidalgo County was the first.

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