Saturday, 01 Oct 2022

New Jersey school districts reinstate mask mandates as COVID cases climb

New Jersey school districts reinstate mask mandates as COVID cases climb

New Jersey (Writer)- Some New Jersey school districts are reinstating mask mandates as COVID cases climb.

The Metuchen School District reported 26 cases over the weekend, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.

The return of the mask mandate at Metuchen High School on Monday drew some polarizing reactions from students. Many were fatigued by the pandemic. Others said it's all the more reason to stay cautious.

"If 3/4 of the kids were wearing masks, then 1/4 were not," said Dativa Adong, a junior.

"It's like as if it's like a rebellion against the school. They're like we're not going to have masks on, we don't like it like that," said Aliza Moarzai, a junior.

The superintendent said an outbreak of 65 cases in the last 10 days led him to make the difficult decision to reimpose face coverings on buses and in classrooms.

In the South Orange-Maplewood School District, officials ordered similar measures for South Mountain Elementary and Clinton Elementary after clusters were discovered there.

Earlier in May, Montclair school leaders brought back the mandate.

"I think they have to do what they can to keep the kids safe," said Leslie Loberger, a parent.

"I mean, personally, I don't want to wear my mask, but I see that there's a need that's a reason, so I've started wearing my mask again," said Ashvin Trehan, a junior.

The state's COVID activity level map shows five out of six regions at a high risk for coronavirus activity. Under state health guidelines, schools are encouraged to require masks if a district is in the orange.

Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy echoed his support for district leaders who felt the need to take action. He also shared optimistic news from the health department.

"Judy's modeling sort of suggests this wave we're in now is gonna peak in the next week or two, and it's a lot less lethal," Murphy said.

The superintendent of Metuchen schools said he's monitoring cases daily. The superintendent said the goal isn't to punish those who don't comply, but rather to keep everyone safe for prom and graduation.

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