Boston Public Schools are considering reinstituting a “temporary masking mandate” for the upcoming week when students and faculty return from the winter break.
Mary Skipper, the superintendent, informed parents and employees in a letter that she would be meeting with the Boston Public Health Commission over winter break to “discuss any possible changes to our COVID protocols, such as a temporary masking mandate for the first two weeks of school after the break.”
Two weeks after the holiday break, some Boston schools are considering enforcing a mask policy.
When kids and teachers go back to school after the holiday break the next week, the Boston Public Schools are considering reinstituting a “temporary masking mandate,” which requires them to wear face coverings at all times in the classroom.
Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a letter to families and staff that administrators will meet with the Boston Public Health Commission during the break to “discuss any possible changes to our COVID protocols, such as a temporary masking mandate for the first two weeks of school after the break.” The meeting will take place while the students are away from school.
The decision, if there is one, will be made by the end of this week, according to Skipper.
When it comes to making judgements, she noted, “this will ensure that we are using the most up-to-date data possible.”
In recent weeks, Boston has seen an increase in the number of people diagnosed with the flu, COVID, and RSV. According to the findings of the Boston Public Health Commission, the number of hospitalisations related to Covid rose by thirty percent during the second week of December.
Although there has been an increase in the number of respiratory illnesses, Dr. Shira Doron, an epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, does not support the implementation of mandatory masking due to the high level of covid immunity and the concentration on schools rather than other busy indoor settings.
“”At this point in time, I believe it would be a mistake,” Doron said. “We aren’t talking about limiting gathering sizes, and we have people going to Celtics games and Bruins games, and people enjoying their lives regularly outside of school buildings.” It is quite unlikely that the mere need of wearing a mask in that one specific environment would have any kind of effect.”
Instead, Doron advised that anyone who was suffering symptoms should stay at home, and he emphasised the importance of good hand hygiene for both students and teachers who were in attendance at schools. Doron advised that anyone who wished to protect oneself by donning a mask could do so provided that it fit properly.
Cheryl Buckman, a mother who lives in Dorchester, was not in agreement. In order to safeguard her autistic son Landen, who also has a health condition that runs deeper, she wants Boston public schools to make it mandatory for students to wear masks temporarily.
“Not only would it safeguard my son, but it would also be of assistance during the assault that is anticipated after the holidays. Similar to what happened after Thanksgiving, when the numbers continued to rise despite the fact that nothing was being done, “Buckman stated.
The COVID outbreak that occurred after the winter break in January 2017 caused more than one thousand daily absenteeism among staff and teachers at Boston schools. This was a significant burden for the city’s educational institutions.
Brenda Cassellius, who served as superintendent of the school system at the time, stated that the organisation was “running on fumes” as it attempted to address the staffing and safety concerns. During the teacher shortage, Cassellius worked as a substitute for one day in the fourth grade.
This temporary policy change may help mitigate any concerns as we return from winter break, as stated by Skipper in her letter. “Based on last year’s experience with a significant surge in COVID and its impact on staffing shortages and student absences,” the previous year, “we know this temporary policy change may help.”
HERE WE GO AGAIN: After the holiday break, Boston public schools may reinstate the mandatory wearing of face masks.
After the holiday break, the Boston Public Schools might reinstate their “temporary mask” requirement for students.
As a result of an increase in the number of students who have been hospitalised with Covid, the superintendent is investigating the idea of reinstating the mask requirement.
This month has also seen an upsurge in the number of reported cases of the flu and RSV.
Masks do not work, but here we are.
Boston has lifted its public health emergency due to the COVID-19 virus, but the city’s mask mandate for public school students remains in effect.
Despite the fact that the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration for the Hub was cancelled on Wednesday, students and teachers in the City will still be required to wear masks.
In spite of the fact that the viral parameters are trending in a positive way across the city and in the schools, health officials in Boston have stated that positivity rates are still over the level that would allow them to lift the K-12 mask mandate.
The current incidence rate of coronavirus in the city is thirteen cases for every one hundred thousand persons.
During a meeting of the Board of Health on Wednesday, Sarimer Sánchez, the director of the infectious diseases bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, stated that “Masking can be lifted in BPS schools once we reach a citywide daily COVID-19 incidence rate of 10 cases per 100,000 residents.”
She stated that although “it” (that criterion) has not been met as of the current day, “we are heading in that direction.” We look forward to getting there as quickly as possible, but we are not there yet.”
On Saturday, the city removed its requirement that residents wear masks, however the Boston Public Schools were exempt from this adjustment.
Even though the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced in late February that the mask mandate would no longer be in effect, the school district continues to require that students and teachers wear masks. This is in contrast to many other school districts, which have eliminated this requirement. The need for students in K-12 schools in Worcester to wear masks was lifted this week.
As a result of the continuing decline in the number of people who are becoming sick from the virus and being hospitalised as a result of it, the Board of Health decided on Wednesday to remove the public health emergency designation. In addition to the removal of the requirement that residents must wear face masks in public, the vaccination passport requirement for enterprises has also been eliminated.
The Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, who is also the top health official working for Mayor Michelle Wu, has stated that she “continues to be positive” regarding the declining virus patterns that have followed the omicron variant increase. She suggested that the public health emergency be declared over, and the board unanimously agreed with her recommendation in a vote of 6-0.
On March 15, 2020, the declaration of an emergency pertaining to public health went into force. The declaration will be null and void as of the first of April.
Schools in Boston are looking at the possibility of implementing a temporary mask mandate for the two weeks following the holiday break. When students and instructors go back to school after the winter break, the Boston Public Schools are investigating the idea of reinstituting a “temporary masking mandate.” This would require everyone to wear face coverings in school. 11