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The School District of Philadelphia on July 15, 2020. Credit: Kylie Cooper

In accordance with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the School District of Philadelphia has updated its masking guidelines.

According to the new guidelines which took effect on Monday, Feb. 7, students, faculty, and staff should instead use a three-ply surgical mask, KN95 mask, or N95 respirators, 6abc reported. Cloth masks alone are no longer permitted.

The school district also recommends that those who prefer a cloth mask double-mask with a three-ply disposable mask.

Beginning February 7, all schools and offices in the district have been provided with a supply of adult KN95 masks to distribute to staff, and the district has also provided three-ply disposable masks.

At the beginning of the spring 2022 semester, Penn updated its masking guidance, requiring community members to either wear a KN95 or N95 mask or double-mask — defined as a cloth mask layered on top of a surgical mask — rather than a single cloth or surgical mask.

Temple University also changed its guidance when the college returned to in-person instruction for the semester, prohibiting students from wearing only cloth masks to in-person classes.

Case counts continue to drop in Pennsylvania and are down 57% from two weeks ago. Similarly, the citywide positivity rate for Philadelphia was 3.9% as of Feb. 10, down from 7.7% on Jan. 31.