Most US schools to keep mask optional policy

FILE - Kindergarten teacher Karen Drolet, left, works with a student at Raices Dual Language...
FILE - Kindergarten teacher Karen Drolet, left, works with a student at Raices Dual Language Academy, a public school in Central Falls, R.I., Feb. 9, 2022. As a new school year approaches, COVID-19 infections are again on the rise, fueled by highly transmissible variants, filling families with dread. They fear the return of a pandemic scourge: outbreaks that sideline large numbers of teachers, close school buildings and force students back into remote learning.(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:56 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:00 AM MST
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(CNN) - Most students in the U.S. are heading into the new school year with an optional mask policy.

According to data company Burbio, about 98% of the top 500 kindergarten through 12th-grade schools do not require facial coverings.

However, the School Superintendents Association says policies could change in some areas where COVID-19 cases escalate.

COVID-19 cases are rising nationwide, fueled by the BA.5 subvariant. (CNN, WFSB, NATIONWIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending universal indoor masking for schools and early education programs in locations with a high COVID-19 community level.

Right now, the CDC says nearly 46% of U.S. counties fall in that category.

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