Two New Jersey school districts have decided to reinforce mask mandates to reduce the spread of COVID, Fly, and RSV.
The policy will go into effect when students return to school following the winter break. Students will be required to wear face coverings indoors, ABC News reported.
Paterson Public Schools will start requiring its 25,000 students to wear masks beginning Jan. 3. It serves students in pre-K through 12th grade.
“I know this is a relief to some and a frustration to others. No matter what your position may be, I ask for your cooperation,” Eileen Shafer, Paterson school district superintendent, said in a letter sent to parents and guardians. “Please continue to maintain universal masking throughout our buildings, and we encourage you to take all other precautions against the spread of the COVID-19, RSV, flu virus including frequent hand washing, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when sick.”
Camden City School District will end the mandate on Jan.17. The district serves roughly 7,500 students between kindergarten and 12th grade.
“The New Jersey Department of Health has already reported an increase in COVID, flu, and RSV cases,” CCSD Superintendent Katrina McComb wrote in a letter to families. “Therefore, in an effort to be proactive and remain vigilant, all schools and offices will operate under a short mask mandate upon reopening.”
The rise in COVID-19 cases across the nation prompted the decision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase from 309,272 to 402,525 over the last five weeks. However, the case has since declined.
But that’s not the same for some RSV and the flu. Cases remain high for both illnesses.
But officials are now seeing a drop following the November and December peak, according to CDC data.
The school district of Philadelphia also implemented an indoor mask mandate, which will last for ten days.