New Jersey & Delaware Plan To Lift School Mask Mandates
Democrat state leaders of New Jersey and Delaware announced Monday plans to lift their states’ school mask mandates.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that he plans to end the school mask mandate next month. He is expected to elaborate on the timeline during a coronavirus briefing at 1 p.m. on Monday.
“The overwhelming sentiment on both sides of the aisle is we want to get to a place where we can live with this thing in as normal a fashion as possible,” Murphy said last week.
Masks are not a requirement in most indoor and outdoor spaces in New Jersey, but indoor areas considered high-risk such as schools, hospitals and public transit require them, according to the state.
Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) said that his state will toss out the statewide indoor mask mandate on February 11. The school mask mandate will end on March 31, to give districts time to prepare for a potential lift if it complies with local requirements. The March 31 date also allows parents more time to get their children vaccinated.
“We’re in a much better place than we were several weeks ago,” Carney said in a statement. “I want to be clear about this point — COVID is still circulating in our communities. And the virus still poses a risk of serious illness, particularly among those who are not up to date on their vaccinations. But we have the tools to keep ourselves and each other safe.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended masks for all in-person schooling functions. The Biden administration has not suggested a path to returning back to normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the U.S. two years ago. Fourteen states still require masks for K-12 schools.