Masks Will Still Be Required In New Jersey Schools This Fall, Gov. Murphy Says
Masks will likely still be required in New Jersey schools this fall, Governor Murphy revealed during a television interview on Tuesday.
New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy said that he anticipates masks will be required in schools because vaccines are not available to children under the age of 12 at this time.
"My guess is, as a result of that, if I had to bet today, that we will have masking in schools in the fall as a result of that and I would suspect we will continue with some of the public health protocols inside the classroom and inside the school, buildings to try to mitigate the concern," he told MSNBC's Morning Joe. "The concern is a legitimate one."
The governor did not clarify if all school-aged children would be required to wear masks or if middle and high school students over the age of 12 would be exempt.
Murphy anticipates that vaccines will be available for children under the age of 12 at some point, but he wasn't totally sure if they'd be widely available by September.
The state will issue guidance for schools next month.
Meanwhile, New Jersey's mask mandate and social distancing restrictions will largely be lifted on Friday (May 28) for vaccinated residents and visitors. Those who are not vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks, but proof of vaccination will not be required.
Masks will still be required in places like mass transit hubs, per the CDC's guidance, and businesses may choose to require them for visitors and employees, Murphy said on Monday.