SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Massachusetts has extended the indoor mask mandate for schools into the next year.
The mask mandate for K-12 schools will remain until at least January 15, 2022, but if a school reaches 80% vaccination of students and staff they can apply with the state to waive the mask mandate.
Mandate guidelines include:
- Students ages five and older as well as staff must wear masks while inside other than when eating.
- If students are younger than five, it is not required, but strongly recommended
- Students do get mask breaks throughout the day. And they don’t need to wear them when outside.
- Visitors must also wear masks while entering school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
- The only ones exempt are students and staff who can’t wear a mask for medical or student behavioral reasons.
- The Massachusetts Education Secretary says the extension will allow elementary school students to stay safe while giving them time to get the COVID-19 vaccine once available.
Mandatory masks will be a reality for students, teachers and staff into next year at public schools in the Commonwealth.