Starting Wednesday, August 11, students, staff and visitors will need to wear face masks when on school properties, Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde announced late Monday at a school board meeting.

  • “I am responsible for the safety, health and welfare of each and every one of our students and our staff. If I err, I must err on the side of ensuring that we’ve been overly cautious, not that we have fallen short,” Elizalde said.

  • “These protocols are especially important for the protection and health and safety of our youngest and most vulnerable students who cannot be vaccinated at this time,” said Board President Geronimo Rodriguez.

Why it matters: On July 9, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended universal indoor masking in schools as a way to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, especially when paired with other safety measures such as vaccines, social distancing, rapid tests and increasing ventilation.

Yes, but: Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA No. 36, which prohibited schools from issuing a mask mandate.

  • The Houston and Dallas school districts have also issued mask mandates.

Go Deeper: Austin ISD required masks throughout all of last school year and saw a lower positivity rate inside its schools than in the community at large.