Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Boston students will wear masks in state guidance this fall

Boston students will continue to wear masks to school in the fall, according to Acting Mayor Kim Janney, which goes against state guidance that all masking and social distancing requirements will be removed for the new school year.

When asked at a news conference, Jenny said young students are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

“Kids are currently wearing masks as they are in summer school and at various events across town – and this fall they will still be wearing masks,” Jenny said.

The announcement goes against the guidelines of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which states, “At this time, all health and safety guidance, including masking and physical distancing, will be removed.”

When asked whether DESE wanted to change its recommendation, a spokeswoman for the department cited comments made by Governor Charlie Baker during a press conference on Thursday to the Herald.

Baker said, “We have no plans to change our current school policies in the fall. We continue to talk to our colleagues in the healthcare community and academia, I continue to talk to governors of other states.” Am. “

The number of coronavirus cases has increased significantly in recent weeks, largely due to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant among non-vaccinated people.

Cases were below 100 per day in late June and early July, but have risen above 400 in recent days.

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Some public health experts have predicted that children under 12 are eligible to be vaccinated with the Pfizer shot, but children under 12 will have to wait until fall.

Jessica Tang, president of the Boston Teachers’ Union, said: “Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Delta version, low vaccine rates for students 12-17, and no options for children under 12, we’re going to recommend it with the choice of Mayor Jenny. Agreed to play as safe as possible. Once vaccines are available and approved for young children, it certainly makes sense to reevaluate it, but for now we agree with Meyer that these steps should be taken by our students. are necessary to protect the health and safety of the

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines Recommending universal masking in schools in the fall.

“The AAP recommends universal masking because a significant portion of the student population is not yet eligible for vaccines, and masking is proven to reduce virus transmission and protect those who are not vaccinated,” the recommendation reads. .

Dr. Sara Bode, chair of the AAP Council on School Health Executive Committee, said, “It is important to use every tool in our toolkit to protect children from COVID-19. Universal masking is one of those tools, and has proven effective in protecting people from other respiratory diseases as well. “

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