Many parents and students were relieved to hear masks would not be required for kids when they return to in-person learning full-time in the Fall. However, Gov. Phil Murphy is allowing local districts to set their own policies.

Many New Jersey school districts have already said they will not require masks, but one district has already made it clear they will require masks and more when classes resume.

Lakewood school officials says all students and staff will have to mask up. Everyone will also have to pass a daily temperature check before being allowed inside any school building. Students will have their temperature taken before getting on a school bus.

Plexiglas barriers between desks and other protocols will also remain in place when school starts in September.

It is not clear how many other districts will require masks or other implement other protocols. Murphy's mask exemption applies only to school buildings, all students will have to wear a mask on the bus and may, if they choose, to wear a mask in school.

State education officials are already taking steps to make sure kids don't get bullied or singled out if they choose to wear a mask.

There is a possibility this will be a moot point, however, as Murphy threatened to impose a new statewide mask mandate as COVID-19 metrics start trending up again.

As the official state health emergency orders were allowed to expire, state lawmakers gave Murphy an extension of his pandemic powers. They include the authority to re-impose the mask mandate and other restrictions if the rate of transmission increases above 1.0 and/or if there is a spike in hospitalizations. The rate has risen to .97 and hospitalizations have risen back above 300 statewide.

On Thursday, Murphy noted the rise in the number of Delta variant infections in New Jersey and hinted if the trend continues, new restrictions are likely. A day earlier, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli urged people to mask up for Fourth of July celebrations.

Powerful photos of NJ parents protesting Murphy’s orders

 

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