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.