CAMDEN — The city's school district is implementing a mandatory masking policy for students, staff, and visitors.

But it's scheduled to last for only two weeks — enough time to hopefully work through the sicknesses passed around during family gatherings over the holidays.

In a letter sent to families on Dec. 21, Superintendent Katrina McCombs said that the mandate will go into effect when students return to school from winter break on Jan. 3.

"(The New Jersey Department of Health) has already reported an increase in COVID, flu, and RSV cases. Therefore, in an effort to be proactive and remain vigilant, all schools and offices will operate under a short mask mandate upon reopening," the letter says.

According to its website, the Camden City School District operates more than 15 buildings, including five high schools.

A mask mandate went into effect on Dec. 21 at public schools in Passaic. The superintendent of the district told parents that the mandate would be lifted when the county's COVID activity level comes down from "high."

COVID-19 community levels are considered to be high in several New Jersey counties right now, including Camden County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Phil Murphy has said as recently as this week that he does not foresee the return of a statewide mask mandate.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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