Connecticut COVID update: Some school districts head back to class with mandates in place

Connecticut coronavirus update

BySonia Rincon WABC logo
Monday, August 30, 2021
Some CT students head back to school with mask mandates in place
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Monday marked the first day of school for many students across Connecticut.

STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Monday marked the first day of school for many students across Connecticut.

Everyone is required to wear masks indoors and all teachers and staff must be vaccinated or get tested regularly.

At Hart Magnet Elementary School in Stamford, the staff and students are following the statewide mandate.

Parents in some Connecticut communities have protested, saying masks should be optional for kids.

But here in Stamford, we heard no complaints this Monday morning. Parents told Eyewitness News that safety and consistency are important right now, after the delta variant showed us how vulnerable kids are to COVID.

ALSO READ | Uncertainty still swirling as NYC students set to head back to school

It is a different tune at this year's back-to-school party in East New York.

Parents are just as excited and nervous as kids on this first day of full-time school in Connecticut.

"I do have some concerns because I think that them being, y'know, masked up all day, not breathing, not seeing emotions, like all of that does matter," parent Alini Muller saud. "So, I don't feel like I have enough knowledge to make a call yet."

The kids already know how they feel about masks. Most of them don't like it.

"I feel a little funny because, this tag in here is a little scratchy," second grader Jeffrey Martinez said.

Martinez' mom Roxana says she feels like the schools are keeping kids safe.

She tells Eyewitness News that she is very satisfied with the protocols.

Principal Linda Darling says they're assuring parents of kids too young to be vaccinated, that they're doing all they can.

ALSO READ | How NYC schools will handle COVID breakouts

New York City's public school buildings will remain open if there are positive COVID-19 cases and only those who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine if exposed to a positive c

"Our staff is masked, they're ready to take the children in, our kids have the barriers for lunches," Darling said.

But there are fewer barriers now, between them, and the routine they need.

"It gives a structure to their day, they're with friends, they want to talk, they want to socialize, they want see that the world is moving forward and that everything's gonna be ok," Darling said.

It's a welcome change from last year.

"We had one day blue, one day green, he was one day in, one day out, we had homeschool, so just a little bit of routine, it helps," parent Renee Smith said.

The mask mandate is in effect for schools in Connecticut at least until September 30, that's when Governor Ned Lamont's emergency powers expire.

After that, it's not clear if the state can continue requiring masks or if that'll be up to individual districts.

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