Start thinking about your back to school shopping list: Backpack, check. Notebooks, check. Masks, definitely.
New Jersey’s school staff and students from kindergarten to 12th grade will be required to wear masks in schools when classes start this fall, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday, citing rising COVID-19 cases and the impact of the Delta variant.
“Due to the recent and rampant spread of the Delta variant the fact that no child under the age of 12 is able to be vaccinated and the reality that too many older students and their parents remain unvaccinated, all students, staff, educators and visitors will be required to wear masks inside the school buildings, regardless of vaccination status for the start of 2021-2022 school year,” Murphy said.
The news comes as many districts, including Montclair, have already mentioned the possibility of a mask mandate this fall. It is also consistent with CDC guidelines, encouraging everyone to mask up regardless of vaccination status. The Delta variant has been credited with both rising cases in New Jersey as well as breakthrough cases, where fully vaccinated individuals test positive for COVID-19.