Diocese of Rockford not requiring masks for Catholic schools
Parents can decide if their child should wear a mask to Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockford, according to a letter from the diocese sent to parents last week.
"Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks," the letter from Superintendent of Schools Vito DeFrisco and Director of Religious Education and Formation John Jelinek said. "Parents individually determine whether they and their child will wear a mask while attending school or religious education gatherings."
The letter includes guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including recommendations that anyone who is not fully vaccinated wear a mask.
Schools also will not be asking anyone about their vaccination status and are trusting people to make honest decisions.
The Diocese of Rockford plans to resume full in-person learning at their schools and religious education programs this fall. Schools in the diocese were mostly in-person last school year but went remote for a period in the winter.
The Diocese of Rockford covers 11 counties, including McHenry, Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago.
Schools in Kane County include St. Patrick in St. Charles, Holy Cross in Batavia, St. Peter in Geneva, Aurora Central Catholic High School, Rosary High School in Aurora and Marmion Academy in Aurora.
The Archdiocese of Chicago released guidance for its schools in Lake and Cook counties on Tuesday, announcing students who are fully vaccinated will not have to wear masks. Vaccination status will not be checked.
On July 4, Catholics in the Diocese of Rockford were asked to return to weekly Sunday Mass. Rockford Bishop David Malloy lifted a temporary suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, which was put in place in March 2020 because of the potential safety effects of large gatherings on public health.
Masks also are not required as Mass in both dioceses for those who are fully vaccinated, but vaccination status also is not asked at the churches.