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Princeton schools reinstate mask requirement amid rise in COVID cases

Citing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Princeton Public Schools students are being required to wear face masks indoors in school and on school buses – but not outdoors, according to school district officials.

The universal masking requirement took effect May 16, based on consultation with the Princeton Health Department, said Superintendent of Schools Carol Kelley. Masks became optional in March.

“Based on the high COVID Activity Level Index (CALI) score in our area, and concerns about in-school transmission, a mask will be necessary to enter any school building,” Kelley said.

“When masking guidelines were changed in March, the plan included a return to universal masking should the CALI score rise to the high level. Staffing levels due to positive cases also are a concern,” she said.

The school district will continue to monitor cases and notify students and parents if there is a change in the universal masking recommendation.

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the school district has been climbing since mid-April. The number of positive cases includes students and staff.

There were 18 positive cases during the week of April 16-22. The number of positive cases more than doubled to 48 cases in the following week of April 23-29.

According to school district officials, there were 88 positive cases of COVID-19 during the week of April 30-May 6, and 95 cases during the week of May 7-13.

In the three days between May 14 and May 16, 39 students and staff had tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

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