NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With COVID-19 cases and hospitalization once again on the rise, the Northampton school district is requiring students to mask up again.

This is a temporary mandate for students in Northampton and is currently scheduled to end on May 20th. Northampton School Superintendent John Provost sent an email to the school community on Monday stating that due to a substantial increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported to the school, or detected through the school’s pooling program, masks are now mandatory in the district.

The number of cases doubled, rising from 64 to 139 over a three day period last week. This acute increase led the Superintendent’s Health Advisory Committee to have an emergency meeting earlier this week where this decision was made. The State Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Health is in support of this re-instatement.

Provost noted that this was not and easy decision, but best for the community as the rise in cases is impacting the lives and the learning in the school community.