When New Jersey’s school mask mandate is lifted on March 7 as the coronavirus pandemic wanes, administrators in the Red Bank Regional High School District will make the use of a mask optional for all individuals in Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver.
In a Feb. 14 message posted on the school district’s website, Superintendent of Schools Louis Moore said wearing a mask would become optional on March 7. Students will still be required to wear a mask on school buses under federal regulations.
“We are hopeful this (move to the optional use of a mask) will represent a major step in returning life to normal at Red Bank Regional; a reminder that everyone should continue to do their part to keep our community safe and healthy.
“Students should stay home if they have symptoms (of coronavirus). If your child or someone in your immediate household tests positive for COVID-19, please continue to contact the nurse’s office. Everyone is urged to get vaccinated and to update the nurse’s office about their vaccination status,” Moore wrote.
Red Bank Regional High School enrolls residents of Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury Borough.
On Feb. 7, noting the significant decline of statewide COVID-19 metrics, Gov. Phil 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.
Schools 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.