Some schools in Oregon and southwest Washington are making masks optional on Monday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As data shows the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane, the countdown is over and masks are officially optional in Oregon and Washington state. And with that, schools can either require masks or make them optional for students.

Evergreen Schools in Southwestern Washington is one of many school districts dropping their mask requirement on Monday.

“It’s a big day. It’s an important day,” said John Boyd, superintendent of Evergreen.

It’s been almost two years since schools first switched to virtual learning. Since then, many students, staff and parents have been waiting for the day when the masks could be lowered.

Boyd says schools are ready to support those who give up the mask, as well as anyone who continues to wear one.

“We’ve been on our knees here with COVID and the fact that we’ve had to change and adapt quickly under the circumstances will put us in a position to adapt if other things come up,” Boyd said.

Masks are also optional for students at public schools in Portland, Salem-Keizer and Beaverton, as well as several other districts in Oregon and Washington.

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