Outdoor masks to be optional at state Department of Education schools

Masks will no longer be required outside at state Department of Education schools and offices.

The Hawaii State Department of Education announced today that, effective tomorrow, it will update its COVID safety protocols so that wearing masks outside at DOE facilities is optional.

Since the beginning of the school year, DOE has required both indoor and outdoor masking, but is updating its policies based on recommendations from the state Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s encouraging to see our indicators trending in the right direction to allow us to make this change. We’re seeing COVID case counts at our public schools continue to decline for the seventh-straight week and weekly rates are down 98 percent from January’s omicron surge peak,” Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “I want to thank our students, staff and families for being diligent with mask-wearing throughout this pandemic. That diligence helped get us to this point where we can start to ease restrictions in a safe manner.”

Indoor masks are still mandatory at DOE facilities.

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