The governors of four states announced plans Monday to lift statewide mask requirements in schools by the end of February or March, citing the rapid easing of COVID-19′s omicron surge.
The decisions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon were announced as state and local governments grapple with which virus restrictions to jettison and which ones to keep in place. The changes also come amid a growing sense that the virus is never going to go away and Americans need to find a way to coexist with it.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the move “a huge step back to normalcy for our kids” and said individual school districts will be free to continue requiring masks after the state mandate ends March 7.
Meanwhile, California announced plans to end its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people next week, but masks will still be the rule for schoolchildren in the nation’s most populous state.
The four states are among a dozen with mask mandates in schools, according to the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy. New Jersey’s requirement has been in place since classes resumed in person in September 2020.
Source: AP News