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

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
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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:

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"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.

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