Another piece of legislation seeks to prohibit mandatory mask use among New Jersey children, as an online petition asking Gov. Phil Murphy to "unmask our kids" reaches more than 10,000 signatures.

Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, introduced a measure Thursday that will allow children to unmask at daycare centers. She introduced a separate measure on Tuesday that would scratch the mask mandate at youth summer camps, and she co-sponsors legislation that would prohibit requiring students to wear face masks in schools and on school buses.

"It's more than past the time for kids to be able to take the masks off," Corrado told New Jersey 101.5. "I'm really concerned that kids are going to start to think this is normal, and it's not."

Murphy lifted mask-wearing mandates in public places like shops and eateries, but he's keeping the rule in place in spots where children gather daily.

On Wednesday, Murphy said "it's possible" that kids won't have to wear face coverings at school in the fall. He noted that COVID-19 vaccination distribution has just begun for individuals aged 12 to 15.

"I can go to a restaurant with my grandchildren, I can go to the park with them, we can go to the mall. But when they go to camp they have to wear a mask. It makes no sense," Corrado added.

Susie Lupert, executive director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ, said New Jersey day camps ran successfully in 2020 amid COVID, with many protocols in place. Overnight camps weren't able to operate last year, but they'll be open this summer.

"Just last week, the CDC revised their summer camp guidance, saying that in general, people at camp do not need to wear masks when outdoors and we expect some changes to NJ and other states' camp guidelines in response to this.”

In less than a week, an online petition launched by Senate Republicans, against mask-wearing among youth, has gathered more than 10,300 signatures.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

NJ's most and least COVID vaccinated towns, by county

New Jersey reported just short of 4 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 statewide, heading into the last week of May. So how does that break down across all 21 counties?

And, how can some communities show a vaccination rate of more than 100%, according to state data? Reasons include people who have moved, those who are traveling and not residing at home where the census counted them, students who may select their school residence for vaccination data and people in long-term care (or other facility-based housing) among other reasons, as explained in a footnote on the state COVID dashboard.

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