When Gov. Phil Murphy lifts New Jersey’s mask mandate in schools and childcare centers on March 7, administrators in the Monmouth Regional High School District will make the wearing of a mask optional for individuals who spend their day at Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls.
Superintendent of Schools Andrew Teeple informed the Atlantic Hub on Feb. 15 that masks will become optional in the high school for students and staff members on March 7.
High-school age residents of Eatontown, Tinton Falls and Shrewsbury Township attend Monmouth Regional High School.
Noting the significant decline of statewide COVID-19 metrics as of Feb. 7, 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.
School district administrators who 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 lifting of the state’s mask mandate does not relate to school buses. The federal requirement that requires every person to wear a mask on public transportation remains in place. That means while individuals are riding on a school bus, a mask must still be worn.