‘Relaxing’ policy: Mask-wearing at HISD schools, facilities ‘optional’ effective Tuesday, district says

The Houston Independent School District has relaxed its mask mandates, making it optional to wear masks within HISD schools, facilities, and school buses, officials announced Monday.

HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District has relaxed its mask mandates, making it optional to wear masks within HISD schools, facilities, and school buses, officials announced Monday. Anyone wanting to wear a mask can still request one when entering an HISD building.

This comes after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo lowered the COVID-19 threat level from red to orange last week. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also announced last week that he has dropped the face covering requirement for city of Houston employees (with few exceptions) and visitors to city buildings.

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HISD released a statement Monday that read, in part:

Students, staff, and any other HISD stakeholders that may need an additional layer of protection or are exhibiting symptoms of a communicable disease are highly encouraged to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

The district will continue to monitor all COVID-19 data and trends and will be prepared to update its protocols in the event of community or localized COVID-19 outbreaks and recommendations from health authorities.

HISD remains committed to providing safe in-person learning and working environments by focusing on our COVID-19 mitigation framework and strongly encouraging our communities to leverage COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities:

  • Free campus COVID-19 PCR testing is available to students and staff who provide a one-time consent to participate in this program. Visit www.HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts and click on the Get Tested section to sign up, learn more, and check your school’s COVID-19 testing schedule.
  • COVID-19 vaccination clinics are hosted weekly on many HISD campuses. Visit www.HoustonISD.org/HealthAlerts and click on the Get Vaccinated section to find a location.
  • Additional COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities can be found through the Houston Health Department website’s COVID-19 Services & Resources section at houstonemergency.org.

In addition, all HISD facilities will continue to be cleaned and disinfected daily with hospital-grade products.