The Kyrene School District announced Tuesday that all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings in the upcoming school year.
In a letter to parents, the school referenced Arizona’s surge in COVID-19 cases across the state.
Based on the increasing rate of infection, the school said face coverings will be mandatory when physical space does not allow students and staff to maintain a safe distance of six feet apart.
The face coverings must be worn in classes by all students (PreK - 8th Grade) and school employees. In addition, students will not be required to wear face coverings during physical activities and when social distancing is possible, though they may voluntarily wear face coverings at any time.
The district said any individual with difficulty breathing, or who is incapable of physically removing the mask on his or her own, will not be required to wear a mask and alternate methods of protection will be discussed.
The district said its plan is flexible and will adapt to COVID-19 trends across the district and state.
Last week, the district announced it is launching the "Kyrene Digital Academy," a full-time, all-digital program to serve families who prefer to continue remote learning.
Kyrene is the 12th largest district in Arizona. It has 25 schools and more than 16,000 students.