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Chicago public school students, teachers and all other employees will be required to wear masks indoors when they return to school after summer break.

The face-covering directive was announced in a letter by Chicago Public Schools that also included social distancing guidance for the students.

“Continuing to require masks will help make sure those in our school communities who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which encompasses the majority of our students, remain as safe as possible,” CPS said in the letter.

Students can remove their masks when eating, during recess and outdoor sports, according to the letter.

Whenever possible, the letter says, students should remain three-feet apart.

The interim CEO of the school district, Dr. Jose Torres, said the mask policy is, “designed to keep our communities safe while providing our students the high-quality, in-person education they deserve.”

District parents had mixed feelings about the policy.

“I wish it was optional, or we were given options, not just a mandate,” Sherryl Reiss told NBC Chicago.

“If the City of Chicago is allowed to be maskless, then CPS students should be allowed to be given the option to not be masked.”

Parent Claudia Guerrero, however, was fine with the mask mandate.

“I think CPS is finally taking that stance of we’re going to do what’s best for the students, we’re going to follow the science and listen to the professionals,” Guerrero said.

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