FAIRFAX (WDVM) — In preparation for the upcoming school year, Fairfax County Public Schools announced that the 2021-2022 school year will start with universal mask guidance.

“FCPS will start the school year with universal masking. Masks will be worn at all times by both staff & students indoors and on school buses, but are not required when eating or when outside during recess, PE, or other activities”

This comes shortly after the CDC released new mask guidance recommendations stating that fully vaccinated people should begin wearing masks indoors again and in areas that have high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The agency also recommends that students in K-12 wear masks indoor to ensure safe in-person learning this fall.

 One FCPS spokesperson provided statements to WDVM.

“Universal masking is the most effective way to keep our staff and students safe and feeling confident – and also to keep our school buildings open for five days a week of in-person instruction for all students this fall.

“The universal mask policy is in line with local, state and national guidance and takes into account the fact that many of our students are not eligible for the vaccine or who have not yet been vaccinated for other reasons.”

FCPS spokesperson