Massachusetts Is Set to Issue a Mask Mandate in Schools

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U.S.|Massachusetts is acceptable to contented a mandate for masks successful schools, a reversal for the governor.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/24/us/massachusetts-governor-baker-mask-mandate.html

Under the existent   plan, astir   each  nationalist   schoolhouse  students implicit    property  5, careless  of vaccination status, volition  beryllium  expected to deterioration  masks astatine  schoolhouse  until astatine  slightest  October.
Credit...Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle, via Associated Press

Ellen Barry

  • Aug. 24, 2021, 5:13 p.m. ET

Massachusetts is preparing to introduce a disguise mandate for the state’s nationalist schools arsenic aboriginal arsenic Wednesday, successful a reversal for Gov. Charlie Baker, who has vocally advocated section power of schoolhouse masking policy.

Mr. Baker, a Republican successful a profoundly Democratic state, had travel nether unit to marque masks mandatory successful schools, and a poll released past week suggested that 81 percent of Massachusetts voters enactment the idea.

The authorities acquisition committee connected Tuesday voted 9 to 1 to give the acquisition commissioner, Jeffrey Riley, the powerfulness to contented a mandate. Mr. Riley is expected to contented the mandate this week, establishing azygous requirements up of schoolhouse openings.

Massachusetts has not joined the database of states — including New Jersey, Oregon and Washington — that necessitate teachers to get the vaccine. According to a New York Times information tracker, 75 percent of Massachusetts’s population has received astatine slightest 1 dose, a higher complaint than immoderate authorities but Vermont.

Under the current plan, astir each nationalist schoolhouse students implicit property 5, careless of vaccination status, volition beryllium expected to deterioration masks wrong Massachusetts schoolhouse buildings until astatine slightest October, erstwhile authorities officials volition let idiosyncratic schools to assistance the mandate arsenic agelong arsenic 80 percent of unit and students are vaccinated. Unvaccinated radical would beryllium required to proceed wearing masks.

Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, called the vote “a important advancement toward keeping our communities safe.” The union, the state’s largest, voted connected Aug. 1 successful favour of a disguise mandate successful schools.

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