Masks still required in schools, despite high temps expected


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Despite temperatures expected to reach 90 degrees next week, face coverings are still required in Rhode Island school buildings, according to the state’s COVID-19 Response Team.

“Indoors is one of the highest risk areas and where we are with vaccination levels and who’s eligible for vaccines, we’re not planning on making any changes to the masking guidance for the rest of this school year,” Executive Director Thomas McCarthy said.

The state’s new mask guidelines allow all Rhode Islanders to go maskless outside regardless of vaccination status. The new rules apply to outdoor activities for youth such as sports and summer camp, though indoor masks are still required for those who are not vaccinated.

Masks are still required for everyone in health care settings, schools, child care, public transit and any business that chooses to require masks.

Additionally, only Rhode Islanders 12 years and older are eligible to be vaccinated.

12 News spoke with some parents about the unchanged guidance, who say they felt it made sense.

“I feel like we’ve gone through the whole year lets finish up a couple more weeks,” Stan Waskiel Jr. said.

“My children have become accustomed to wearing masks, and for two more weeks my children, in particular, don’t have an issue with it, and they are fully vaccinated,” Tammy Tremblay added.

Though masks must still be worn in schools for the remainder of the school year, McCarthy said there is a possibility mask mandates could be eased for summer programs, where there’s less density in school buildings.

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DYSOM 7/30/2021: Thomas McCarthy

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