Mass. education board clears way for school mask mandate

Coronavirus

MALDEN, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved a measure giving state Education Commissioner Jeff Riley the authority to issue a universal mask mandate for K-12 public schools.

After Tuesday’s vote, Riley is expected to formally issue the mandate as early as Wednesday, and has previously said it would last through Oct. 1.

A mandate would mark a shift for Gov. Charlie Baker, who had previously left face covering decisions up to individual districts.

The number of new COVID-19 cases increased by nearly 1,300 Tuesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 16.

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