MILLSTONE – When New Jersey’s mask mandate in schools and childcare centers is lifted by Gov. Phil Murphy on March 7, the Millstone Township K-8 School District’s administrators will make masks optional for all individuals in the district’s schools.
Superintendent of Schools Christopher Huss informed the Examiner on Feb. 15 that masks will become optional for students, staff members and visitors in all three of Millstone’s schools on March 7.
The district consists of the Millstone Township Primary School, the Millstone Township Elementary School and the Millstone Township Middle School.
On Feb. 7, noting the significant decline of statewide COVID-19 metrics, Murphy announced that masks and facial coverings will no longer be mandated for students, staff members or visitors in schools and childcare centers effective March 7.
“Thankfully, we have reached a point where we feel confident we can take another step toward normalcy for our kids. Given the continued drop in new cases and hospitalizations, projections indicating a continued decline over the coming weeks, and the continued growth of vaccinations for our school-age population, we believe we can responsibly end the universal mask mandate,” Murphy was quoted as saying in a press release.
In announcing the lifting of the mask mandate, Murphy said school district administrators and the operators of childcare facilities can choose to continue to implement universal masking policies after the mandate is lifted in March.
Schools that do not impose universal masking should revise their COVID policies to use masking among other prevention strategies under certain circumstances, according to the press release.
School district administrators will not be permitted to prohibit the use of facial coverings by individuals, according to the press release.
Prior to the mandate being lifted, the New Jersey Department of Health will release guidance to help school districts update their policies to align with the risks and unique needs of their setting and student population to ensure safe learning environments, according to the press release.
Parents should note that the state’s mask mandate does not relate to school buses. The federal requirement that requires a mask to be worn on public transportation remains in place. This means that while individuals are riding on a school bus, a mask must still be worn.