Mask mandate for Mass. schools extended through October

School Updates

High school students at school, wearing N95 Face masks. Sitting in a classroom.

BOSTON (WPRI) — K-12 students and staff in Massachusetts will be masking up for at least another month.

On Monday, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley notified districts that the requirement has been extended through at least Nov. 1.

However, middle and high schools with at least 80% of their students and staff vaccinated can request to have the mandate lifted starting Oct. 15 by submitting an attestation form to the Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, according to a news release from the department.

“We know some communities will want to submit verification quickly, and other communities might choose to continue their mask policies for now,” Education Secretary James Peyser said in a statement. “This policy allows communities to make the decision at the local level.”

“As health conditions evolve, we will continue to work with medical experts to find masking offramps for our youngest students who are not yet eligible for vaccines,” Riley added.

Unvaccinated students and staff must continue to wear masks, with the exception of those who cannot due to medical or behavioral conditions.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said school officials should devise a confidential method of collecting proof of vaccination.

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