Governors roll back school mask mandates as COVID cases decline, but some parents worry


Several Democratic governors have introduced that they’re ending their states’ school mask mandates. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy introduced Monday he plans to finish a statewide mask requirement in faculties and little one care facilities efficient March 7. From the primary week of January to the final week of the month, new scholar COVID cases in New Jersey dropped by almost 80% and new employees cases have been down by greater than 83%

“We’re not going to manage COVID to zero. We have to learn how to live with COVID,” Murphy mentioned.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont introduced that his state’s school mask mandate will finish on February 28. 

New York has but to announce if it’ll do the identical. Its mandate will expire this week and Governor Kathy Hochul is anticipated to make an announcement Wednesday about presumably ending it fully.

Nationwide, the variety of new COVID-19 cases is in decline, with the seven-day nationwide common greater than 60% decrease than January’s peak. The drop in cases has some well being specialists suggesting it is perhaps time to ease some restrictions, particularly with instruments like vaccines accessible.

But many parents are nonetheless involved since solely about 22% of kids ages 5-11 are totally vaccinated.

“It seems to be a recipe for disaster, sending them in without masks on,” Sabila Kahn instructed CBS News.

Kahn’s two kids are first and fourth graders at public school in Jersey City, New Jersey. She thinks faculties ought to wait earlier than eradicating mask mandates.

Dr. Carol Vidal, a toddler psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, mentioned it’s time for college students to take off their masks as a result of so many have fallen behind.

“It’s really hard to measure right now the effects of masking all the time. I would expect that we would find that it’s going to be causing harmful effects because we are not designed to communicate with masks,” mentioned Vidal.

But for Kahn, whose kids lost their grandfather to the virus in 2020, the specter of COVID outweighs these dangers. 

“I’m much more concerned about their mental health as it relates to COVID loss and their stresses around COVID,” she mentioned.

The resolution of whether or not or to not require masks is as much as every school district. The CDC’s present pointers nonetheless suggest masks for all school college students, academics and employees. The White House mentioned Monday it helps the CDC’s pointers but reiterated that the choice is as much as the districts, which has led to a patchwork of guidelines all through the pandemic.

Download our Free App

For Breaking News & Analysis Download the Free CBS News app