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Facial Covering Mandate Information & FAQs

Beginning Tuesday, September 7th, 2021, all students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear facial coverings in all K-12 public schools as ordered by the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The Chambersburg Area School District is obligated to follow the Order Directing Face Coverings in Schools from the PA Department of Health, which the PA Department of Education mandates the district follow and under advisement of the school district solicitor.

Read the full order here.

From FAQs related to the mandate:

  • “What are the potential consequences if a school entity fails to comply with the Order?
    • School officials who fail to adhere to the order could lose the protection of sovereign immunity and may personally face lawsuits from those who may be affected by any official’s attempt to ignore the order.  Failing to implement or follow the control measures may expose individuals to personal liability under 42 Pa.C.S § 8550 (relating to willful misconduct), as well as other remedies as provided by law. Failure to implement and follow the control measures under the Order also subjects a person to the penalty provisions of the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955.
    • Non-compliance with the Order for child care providers licensed by the Department of Human Services will be cited under 55 Pa. Code §3270.14, §3280.14 (relating to compliance with pertinent laws and regulations) as well as 55 Pa. Code §3270.21, §3280.20, and §3290.18 (relating to general health and safety).

Additional potential repercussions for failing to implement the order:

  • Failure to implement and follow the control measures under the Order subjects each board member to the penalty provisions of the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955. A violation occurs each day that the Order is not enforced and each board member may be charged a financial penalty for each student or staff member attending the school.  
  • Failure to implement and follow the control measures under the Order exposes each board member to personal liability under 42 Pa.C.S. §8550 (relating to willful misconduct), as well as other remedies and actions as provided by law. PDE is serving notice to each board member that failure to comply with the mask order is a violation of law. A knowing violation may be used by a plaintiff to establish personal liability in a negligence action per 42 Pa.C.S. § 8550.
  • Each board member may face lawsuits from those who may be affected by noncompliance with the Order, including children who may become ill as a result of the district’s violation, or disabled children who are unable to attend school because of the district’s failure to follow the order.
  • Each board member may bear potential liability with no indemnification or protection. 
  • School districts’ liability insurers are exploring cancelling coverage as a result of those districts’ possible illegal conduct and potential purposeful violations of law. 
  • School districts’ violations of law may negatively affect workers’ compensation claims coverage and premium calculations.   
  • Districts that do not comply with or elect to violate the law may be referred to the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for investigation.  In particular, failure to comply with the Order may prevent immunocompromised and other susceptible students from attending class in violation of the IDEA, ADA, and Rehabilitation Act.  
  • Employees who report non-compliance may be entitled to protection under the state whistleblower law.

Links:

State Government Contact Information: