HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Masks may not be required in classrooms this fall depending on the county where children attend school.

However, with Covid-19’s Delta Variant on the rise, doctors are urging people to mask up whether they have been vaccinated or not.

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Regardless of what county you live in masking on the bus is a federal mandate and children being transported to and from school will still need to wear one.

Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said, “the number of cases of Covid in children and younger adolescents is going up.” He said it is smart to make your kids wear a mask when they are in a school setting.

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants kids back in the classroom but they want as many people as possible to be vaccinated since children under 12 cannot get the shot. They also want children and teachers to wear masks because of the risk that still exists.

County by County, decisions are being made. In Baltimore City masks are still required whether you are vaccinated or not.

In Harford and Carroll counties masks will not be required in the school but all students will have to wear them on the bus. That also applies to Baltimore County but unvaccinated students and staff are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

In Howard and Anne Arundel County, no decision has been made yet. Dr. George Arlotto, Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent said,” the CDC has said they are developing reopening guidelines for schools across the country. They are to release that sometime this summer and we are waiting on those.”

Originally health experts thought schools and classrooms would be a hotbed for covid spread, but after studies, it was discovered the threat was not as serious as anticipated.

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However, Dr. Dowdy said with the new, more contagious variant, “the potential for schools to serve as a catalyst for spread is high.”

Rachael Cardin