SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts school districts are required to conduct in-person learning on a full-time basis during the new school year. This, as the state’s risk for COVID-19 transmission continues to rise.
And now, concerns over how to combat the virus as children return to classrooms.
Massachusetts teachers unions are also calling for a statewide mask mandate in schools. 22News spoke with one parent who said they think about having their child wear a mask when they return to school.
“Safety is everything for our kids,” said Juan Acebedo of West Springfield. “He still has to put it on when we go to stores and parks and stuff like that, so it is a big deal.”
The decision will ultimately be up to the individual district on whether to require a mask in schools.
But according to the State Education Department, they are recommending:
- All students in Kindergarten through 6th grade to wear masks inside this fall
- Unvaccinated students in all grades, as well as unvaccinated visitors, should also wear a mask inside
- Vaccinated students can remain unmasked
Health officials at Baystate Children’s Hospital advise parents to:
- Provide multiple cloth face coverings for their child
- Label the masks so they are not confused with another students
- Practice putting on and taking off cloth face masks with your child while avoiding touching the cloth portions
- Remind your child that they should always wash their hands especially before and after touching their mask