Philadelphia school officials announce 'Mask-to-Stay' as an option to remain in class

The School District of Philadelphia announced a Mask-to-Stay option for individuals in the district who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but have no symptoms and wish to remain in their classroom environment.

Officials made the announcement Friday. The district says the move will allow more kids to get in-person learning and reduce strain on classroom coverage. They say a person exposed to COVID-19, but not exhibiting symptoms can stay in the building and not quarantine at home if they meet the following qualifications:

  • Wear a mask during the school day for 10 days after the last day of exposure, regardless of their vaccine status.
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolate and test if COVID-19 symptoms appear.


"I don’t think that’s safe at all, because I don’t want my child to be around somebody with a cold," parent Rasheeda Brown stated.

Brown has three kids in Philly schools. She says she’d rather exposed children stay at home. "You need to keep your child home for safety. Why would you want to bring your child to school and have them be exposed and make somebody else sick?" Brown questioned. "When the school is shut down or it gets worse again, then we’re back to square one again, so why do that?"

Another parent, Leanne Bendetti, remarked, "As a parent, I think I would want students to stay out of school, if they were not vaccinated, so they don’t spread it even more. If they were vaccinated, I don’t see a problem with them being back at school with a mask."

No Philadelphia schools are closed. The District has been working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in providing guidance to schools that may have an accelerated COVID case bump. Schools with increased cases may require mandatory 10-day masking of all people within that building.

Philadelphia schools reverted to a mask-optional status April 25, after city officials re-instated a mask mandate, but abruptly dropped it four days later.