Students no longer must wear masks when riding U.S. school buses, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said school districts still have the discretion to require the coverings.
On Friday, CDC updated its “Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs” to align with other guidance that no longer recommends universal mask-wearing in indoor K-12 schools and early education settings located in areas at low or medium risk of spreading COVID-19.
The updated guidance replaces the CDC order that went into effect on Jan. 29, 2021, that required face masks to be worn by all people while on public transportation. Last June, CDC said it would no longer require masks to be worn in outdoor areas of conveyances or outdoors at transportation hubs.
Related: CDC Confirms Masks Must Be Worn on Public, Private School Buses
Related: Updated: Masks Coming Off at West Coast Schools
Related: Virginia Allows Parental Option on Student Mask Wearing in Schools
Related: Maryland Governor Recommends Ending School Mask Mandate
Also on Friday, the CDC updated its COVID-19 Community Levels that are designed to help local authorities and residents make decisions based on the impact COVID-19 is having on their areas. The guidance is based on high, medium and low numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported. Masks, regardless of vaccination status, are still recommended in school settings at high COVID-19 community levels.
According to a current reader survey conducted last month by School Transportation News, 64 percent of 167 respondents nationwide said they are planning to continue with mandatory masking policies on school buses.