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.