New York City, Aug. 6 - Governor Phil Murphy will announce on Friday a requirement that kindergarten to 12th grade students wear masks when public schools open in the fall, according to media reports. This will be a reversal of the position he took just last month.
The change of heart reflects a spike in COVID - 19 cases and hospitalizations prompted by the highly contagious Delta variant that is ravaging U.S. states with lower vaccination rates, including New Jersey.
Murphy, a Democrat, makes an announcement at 1: 15 p.m. EST in East Brunswick, according to an administration official.
COVID - 19 cases rose 105% in the last 2 weeks in New Jersey, according to a Reuters analysis of public health data. Hospitalizations have spiked 92% in the past four weeks, the data shows.
last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed the course and recommended that all students and staff wear an anti-viral mask in school regardless of vaccination status.
Some of the nation's largest school districts including New York and Los Angeles have mandatory uniform safety masks in this upcoming school year.
The updated guidance has once again inflamed the debate over masks in schools - an issue that has become deeply political - and created a patchwork of policies from state to state and even town to city.
In Florida, where hospitals are grappling with record numbers of patients with coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order last week blocking mask mandates in state schools.
In the last week Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Alabama and Mississippi, the White House has reported on some of the country's new cases and hospitalizations.
There were 13,427 confirmed COVID - 19 patients hospitalized on Friday morning in the Sunshine State, which was a fresh record high according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Florida Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to consider proposed emergency rules. This includes a mechanism that would allow parents to transfer a child to a private school or another district if the school the pupil frequents requires masks.
Some Florida school districts are removing mask mandates https: www.browardschools.com site default.aspx? PageType 3 DomainID 14019 ModuleInstanceID 60855 ViewID 6446 EE 88 - D 30 C - 497 E - 9316 - 3 F 8874 B 3 E 108 RenderLoc 0 FlexDataID 233056 Page ID 38282, at least for now despite the Governor's executive order (Franklin is state
The Broward County Public School Board will meet on Tuesday to decide how to proceed following DeSantis' Order.
Rosalind Osgood, the board chairwoman, said she planned to vote on Friday to require masks for students and school staff in the county, telling CNN in an interview: I'm not willing to take a risk with somebody's life when we have a deadly pandemic.