Massachusetts school lifts mask mandate after reaching vaccination threshold

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Certain Massachusetts schools will be allowed to lift their mask mandates under state requirements.

If 80 percent of students and staff at a school in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they won’t have to wear their masks after Friday. Schools in Massachusetts meet that threshold but only one is choosing to lift its mask mandate.

Earlier this week, Hopkinton High School became the first to announce that students and staff won’t have to wear masks in the classroom. Over 1,200 students at Hopkinton High got their shots and nearly every staff member did as well. Several schools in western Massachusetts also meet the 80 percent vaccination threshold but all of them are choosing to keep their mask mandates in place for now.

“They will continue to wear masks and practice good safety habits and that type of thing. We did have an outbreak in one of our schools, in which there was close to 20 students,” Rep. John Barrett of Adams said.

Unvaccinated individuals at all Massachusetts schools will have to continue to wear their masks through at least November 1. That includes all elementary school students because a vaccine has not been developed for children under the age of 12.

It’s not too late for districts to hit that 80 percent vaccination rate and apply for a waiver through DESE to remove their mask mandates. Again, they will have to prove that both students and staff have received their shots.

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