Carroll goes mask optional


Arianna Hall, Staff writer

Archbishop Carroll has announced that beginning Feb. 28, the mask mandate in schools will be optional, and students and faculty can choose whether or not they will continue wearing a mask. 

Archdiocesan schools have enforced the mask mandate since the beginning of the 2020 school year. On Feb. 11 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent out a letter to all archdiocesan-operated schools outside of the Philadelphia area, stating that the schools will become mask optional because of a decrease in COVID-19 cases. The reason for not allowing archdiocesan schools within Philadelphia’s boundaries to be mask optional is because the city’s Department of Public Health Organization is requiring every school within city boundaries to keep requiring masks. 

Vaccination is not required for students and faculty to stop wearing masks, but is strongly encouraged by the archdiocese. 

Stores and restaurants in Pennsylvania suburbs have been dropping mask mandates within their establishments throughout the previous months because Pennsylvania does not currently enforce a statewide indoor mask mandate. 

“I’m choosing not to wear a mask because I’m vaccinated, and I don’t wear one anywhere else so it wouldn’t make sense for me to wear one if it isn’t required,” said Erin Egan, a junior. 

Some are not sure yet about whether or not they are ready to ditch the mask. 

“I would like to stop wearing a mask, but I want to check with my family and see what they think, because I don’t want to put them at risk of the virus,” said Mrs. Diane Gimpel, an English teacher. 

Some are waiting to see if there will be a spike in cases after the mask mandate is lifted in schools. The United States has been averaging about 540,000 new cases per day during the week of Jan. 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 16 states, and D.C are making mask mandates obligatory in schools regardless of being vaccinated, according to The Center For Dignity In Healthcare For People With Disabilities. 

“It is likely that I will continue wearing a mask until such time as cases are officially “low” in this area,” said Mr. John McCauley, a science teacher. “The letter even states that cases are still “high” in this area and any lowering of cases by February 28th is projected as a guess at best. Show me the data first!”