SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education mandated that everyone in schools wear masks until at least November first Monday.

This extends the previous mandate that has been in place since august for all public schools across the state.

Commissioner Jeffrey Riley told Western mass news in part: “Wearing masks is an important additional measure to keep students in school safely at this time. As health conditions evolve, we will continue to work with medical experts to find masking off-ramps for our youngest students who are not yet eligible for vaccines.”

Masks are required for those five and older. School districts with middle and high schools that have an 80 percent vaccination rate of students and staff will have the option to lift the mandate.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Morris of the Amherst-Pelham regional school district is one of those communities with an 80 percent vaccination rate. he told Western Mass News that despite what the state says their mask requirement will not change.

In our town the school committee myself in the town health director we’re planning on continuing that mask mandate locally we don’t have an end date, it will end at some point but it wasn’t going to be that soon I don’t anticipate it being this fall," said Dr. Morris.

The schools who meet the vaccine requirement will have to submit a form to the state to be approved.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and weather.  Download the Western Mass News App

You can now get the latest Western Mass News headlines on Alexa.  Click here to activate the skill.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Copyright 2021 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(1) comment


n95 blocks 50% airborne particles in a controlled setting, surgeon masks 10% in a controlled setting. cloth masks in kindergarten, more harmful than good. Actual studies. Riley is a stooge for... Not kids at least.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.