New Jersey school mask mandate ends, but districts can still make their own decisions

Individual school districts will be free to continue requiring masks.

Monday, March 7, 2022
New Jersey lifts school mask mandate
New Jersey's school mask mandate ends Monday, but that doesn't mean all masks will be off.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey's school mask mandate is officially lifted, but that doesn't mean all masks will be absent in all districts.

Governor Phil Murphy made the announcement last month, citing the rapid easing of the omicron surge.

He called the move "a huge step back to normalcy for our kids."

The mandate has been in place since classes resumed in person in September 2020.

"We are not, and I've said this many times, going to manage COVID to zero," Murphy said. "We have to learn how to live with COVID as we move from a pandemic to an endemic phase of this virus."

ALSO READ | 1st responders catch baby tossed from burning apartment complex in NJ

Chantee Lans reports from the scene of Monday's dramatic rescue in South Brunswick.

Though the state mandate has ended, individual school districts are free to continue requiring masks.

Several school districts in the state are still making masks mandatory, including Paterson, Newark, and Trenton.

But for districts making face masks optional, most kids and parents were happy to see their smiling faces again.

The city of Hoboken also announced Monday that its COVID-19 State of Emergency has been lifted following a decline of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases across the city and the region.

"After two long, hard years, we are finally at a time where it is no longer necessary to remain under a State of Emergency," Mayor Ravi Bhalla said. "This is a credit to everyone who has chosen to get vaccinated and boosted, which has helped get us through the hard times of the past year. We will continue to be guided by science as the pandemic becomes an endemic, utilizing the tools we know will protect our residents."

Hoboken's Office of Emergency Management first declared a State of Emergency on March 12, 2020.

ALSO READ | New York City lifts COVID vaccine and mask mandates

Candace McCowan reports from City Hall on the latest milestone in NYC's war on COVID.


* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube