Poll shows broad support for statewide school mask mandate


Boys and girls sitting at desks, raising hands (Getty Images).

BOSTON (SHNS) – More than four out of five Massachusetts voters supported requiring all people in school buildings to wear masks in a new poll, even as elected officials continue to debate whether local or state governments should impose such a mandate.

In a MassINC Polling Group survey of 724 registered voters released Thursday, 81 percent of respondents said they back making mask-wearing a necessity for everyone who wants to enter a Bay State school building. Twelve percent said they oppose such a policy, and 7 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.

Voters of all parties offered substantial support for an obligation to mask up in schools, with 85 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of independent or other party voters endorsing the idea. Support also increased among older groups. Seventy-four percent of voters between the ages 18 and 29 backed a school mask requirement, compared to 79 percent for voters ages 30 to 44, 80 percent for voters ages 45 to 59, and 88 percent for voters ages 60 and older.

Pollsters surveyed voters between Aug. 4 and Aug. 13, dates that fell after the Baker administration issued guidance “strongly” recommending — but not requiring — that unvaccinated students wear masks. That guidance left the final decisions about mask orders in the hands of local officials, though some lawmakers have pushed to implement a statewide mandate. Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that he expects “virtually every” unvaccinated student to be masked this fall based on feedback from districts

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