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Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon to drop mask mandates in schools

New Jersey masks COVID-19
Posted at 10:37 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 19:38:24-05

The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon plan to lift statewide mask requirements in schools in a major step toward getting back to normal as the omicron surge drops off.

"We’ve made considerable progress against Covid," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said on Twitter Monday. "Infection rates have dramatically dropped and folks across CT have many tools on hand to keep themselves safe."

As of Feb. 28, Lamont, a Democrat, said masks mandates for children will be decided by school districts, not the state.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said his state's mandate will end on March 7. Murphy said schools cannot ban masks and hopes people will be disciplined if anyone is bullied for continuing to wear a mask, according to The Record.

In the neighboring state of Delaware, fellow Democratic Gov. John Carney announced that the state would be ending its mandate requiring masks in schools on March 31. In that same announcement, Carney said that he would end a universal mandate that required masks indoors on Friday.

"I want to be clear about this point - COVID is still circulating in our communities. And the virus still poses a risk of serious illness, particularly among those who are not up to date on their vaccinations. But we have the tools to keep ourselves and each other safe. Get vaccinated. Get your booster," Carney said in a statement.

Oregon will end its mask mandate in schools will end March 31.

"Oregonians have stepped up during the Omicron surge — wearing masks, getting vaccinated and boosted, and keeping each other safe," said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat.

Oregon, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut are four of a dozen states with mask mandates in schools, according to the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy.

The White House responded to governors lifting mask mandates. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said its recommendation continues to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control, which says masks should be worn in schools.