Jersey City Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Norma Fernandez says the district will be joining the majority of the county in making masks optional once the statewide mandate expires on Monday.
“Last Friday, the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Health provided educational guidance. In addition, the CDC also updated it’s recommendations and guidelines pertaining to mask wearing and facial coverings,” she said in a video update posted this evening.
“Over the course of the past several days, the information from all these agencies, COVID-19 activity level reports … and district data have been thoroughly reviewed an analyzed … Therefore, effective Monday, March 7th, 2022, parents, visitors, and employees will decide if they want to wear a mask or facial covering.”
The district had initially touted an announcement on the mask mandate for Wednesday, but ended up releasing the decision this evening instead.
The Bayonne, East Newark, Guttenberg, Hoboken, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, Weehawken, West New York, and the Hudson County Schools of Technology had all decided in February that they would not impose individual mask mandates after the statewide one expires.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced on February 7th that he would be lifting the mask mandate in schools in one month, giving individual districts the ability to implement their own.
Thus far, few urban New Jersey school districts outside of Newark have decided to utilize that option.
“Given the continued drop in new cases and hospitalizations, projections indicating a continued decline over the coming weeks, and the continued growth of vaccinations for our school-aged population, we believe that we can responsibly end the universal mask mandate,” Murphy said at the time.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, Hudson County reported 105 new coronavirus cases today, with a statewide rate of transmission of 0.79 percent.