School districts throughout the Lehigh Valley embrace tiered masking plans for the start of the school year

Written by on August 26, 2021

School districts throughout the Lehigh Valley embrace tiered masking plans for the start of the school year

By Chloe Nouvelle

August 26, 2021

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

On Aug. 25, Gov. Tom Wolf wrote a letter requesting the state legislature return to Harrisburg to work on legislation that would require mask-wearing in K-12 schools and child care centers.

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However, with no mask mandate in place yet, Lehigh Valley school districts have developed their own plans for students returning to in-person classes. 

Despite their differences, some of the region’s rural, urban, and suburban districts are sharing a common approach to masking: doing away with the so-called “one-size-fits-all” policy. 

Bethlehem Area, Easton Area, Northwestern Lehigh, and Saucon Valley school districts are among those that have opted for tiered plans to guide student mask-wearing. 

District tier levels are based on established COVID-19 metrics. While the metrics vary from district to district, they often include county COVID-19 case counts, test percent positivity rates, evidence of community spread and vaccination rates. 

Most districts include three-tier levels in their plans, with universal masking included in the highest tier. 

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