Yesterday afternoon, Governor Murphy announced his plan to lift the mask mandate in all New Jersey schools effective March 7, citing the declining numbers of new cases of COVID-19, the decrease in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID, and the increased number of people who are or will soon be vaccinated as encouraging signs.
While the statewide mask mandate will end, individual schools or districts will be allowed to continue to require masks if they so choose. No school or district will be allowed to ban individuals who would like to wear a mask from doing so.
There are still many issues that must be addressed between now and March 7, including whether social distancing recommendations will remain and implications for contact tracing when students or staff test positive. During his announcement, the Governor stated that guidance addressing these and many other issues will be forthcoming. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office to ensure that this guidance is comprehensive, timely, and helpful to the school administrators who will be asked to communicate and implement new procedures.
We will certainly continue to keep you informed throughout this process, and we thank you for your incredible work throughout this pandemic. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact the NJPSA Government Relations team at (609) 860-1200 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.