(WWLP) – The largest teachers union in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) released a statement Tuesday showing their support for the CDC’s new mask guideline.

“The Massachusetts Teachers Association continues to fully support the safe return to in-person learning in our schools — and the guidance issued today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning indoor masking advances that goal. The CDC guidance, following a similar recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, makes clear that the safest way to implement in-person learning and to keep students, educators and communities healthy and safe is to have all students and staff wear face masks regardless of vaccination status.”

Merrie Najimy | President, Massachusetts Teachers Association

Merrie Najimy, the President of the MTA who issued the statement, goes on to advocate for additional safety measures that the organization believes are necessary to control infection rates in schools in the upcoming year. Policies involving air quality improvements, physical distancing, access to testing, additional hygiene practices, and vaccinations are all suggested by the MTA to ensure the safety of those in the classroom.

The MTA, in their statement, asked for the Governor and other elected officials to begin the dialogue on COVID-related policies now, and maintain those dialogues to act quickly on any future changes to CDC guidelines to ensure a safe return to full in-person learning this fall.

Governor Baker has said that individual communities can decide whether or not they want to require masks in schools.