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Massachusetts to lift public school mask mandate on Feb. 28

The mask mandate for students in grades K-12 will be lifted on February 28.
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 2:31 PM EST
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(WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor Charlie Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Wednesday that the statewide public school mask mandate will be lifted at the end of the month.

The mask mandate for students in grades K-12 will be lifted on February 28.

Big changes are underway for students, staff, and teachers in the Bay State.

“This was a decision his team made after careful consultation with public health officials,” Baker explained.

The lifting of the mandate will also apply to early education centers. Baker said there were many elements that played a role in making this decision.

“Given the extremely low risk for young people, the widespread availability and the proven effectiveness of vaccines, and the distribution of tests, it’s time to give our kids a sense of normalcy and lift the mask mandate on a statewide basis for school,” Baker added.

DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said that all testing protocols will remain in place and schools will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

“We are second in the nation among states with the greatest uptick in vaccines from the 5 to 11 year old group and 82 percent 15 to 19 year old have received at least one shot,” Riley explained.

However, masks are still required when social distancing is not possible and on school busses because it is a federal order.

“Masking will be an individual choice in schools across the Commonwealth unless a school district decides to establish a local requirement,” Riley noted.

One parent we spoke with was concerned about the changes.

“I think that is crazy because there is still some variants coming out and it’s still rampant at this moment. I think there should still be safeguards, some children are not vaccinated. They are not safe in that environment,” said Crystal Rodriguez.