HISD drops mask mandate for schools, facilities and buses starting today

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Starting today, face masks are now optional in Houston ISD.

The district announced on Monday that it's relaxing its mask mandate for all schools, facilities and buses.

Anyone who feels they need an extra layer of protection or who is showing symptoms will still be highly encouraged to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Anyone who wants to wear a mask when entering an HISD building can also still request one.

In the update, superintendent Millard House II said that the district will still monitor all COVID data and trends and will update its protocols in the event of outbreaks or amid recommendations from health officials.

HISD is reminding the community to take advantage of the following:

  • Free campus COVID-19 PCR testing available to students and staff who provide a one-time consent to participate in this program. You can sign up and check the COVID-19 testing schedule on the HISD health alerts page.
  • COVID-19 vaccination clinics are hosted weekly on many HISD campuses. Go the HISD health alerts page mentioned above and then click on the Get Vaccinated section to find a location.

All HISD facilities will continue to be cleaned and disinfected daily with hospital-grade products, the district said.

A number of big moves regarding masks have been made over the past few days.

On Friday, the CDC released new guidelines saying that more than 70% of Americans should be able to remove their masks indoors, including inside schools as a majority of the country would now be considered low-to-medium risk.

The City of Houston also suspended its face mask requirement for employees after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo lowered the COVID threat meter to orange, which means there is still a significant and uncontrolled level of the virus in the area, but there has been improvement as COVID-19 positive cases and ICU populations decrease.
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