Debate over mask wearing in schools in New Jersey, even after some COVID outbreaks

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Debate over mask wearing in schools; More restrictions lifting in NJ
EMBED <>More Videos

Anthony Johnson has the latest on reopening from the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey.

BAYONNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Some New Jersey school districts are calling for mask requirements to be lifted, even while some districts are still struggling to contain the virus.

The Bayonne School District had to reverse its decision to expand in-person learning after multiple outbreaks in schools.

The district had planned to move to four or five days a week for "in-school" sessions for the final month of the year.

The school superintendent sent out word to the school community, saying:

RELATED | New Jersey coronavirus update: State easing workplace, daycare restrictions

"We would like to inform you that we will continue our current school hybrid schedule for the remainder of the school year. Unfortunately, we have had multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 within our school community during the current month of May."

And when students return to school in September, they may still be required to wear masks since a vaccine is still not available for kids 12 and younger. But that policy could change in three months.

"I would suspect we will continue with some of the public health protocols inside the classroom and inside the school buildings to try to mitigate the concern. The concern is a legitimate one," Governor Phil Murphy said.

The governor says he expects to release guidance next week.

But already one district is pushing back.

The Board of Education in Toms River is asking the governor to lift the mask mandate in September, saying the vast majority of its staff has been fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the governor announced the group limits in child care classes, which are currently capped at 15, will be returned to their normal regulated limits.

Destination Summer: Where to find fun in the Tri-State

national geographic covid newsletter sign up

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

Mask guidance in the Tri-State area

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question