State officials respond to AAP guidance on masks in schools this fall | News

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Western Mass News is getting answers as the state’s test positive rate for COVID-19 jumped to above one percent over the weekend. However, what does that mean for towns and schools in Massachusetts that were looking forward to a return to normal?







SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Western Mass News is getting answers as the state’s test positive rate for COVID-19 jumped to above one percent over the weekend. However, what does that mean for towns and schools in Massachusetts that were looking forward to a return to normal?

One town in eastern Massachusetts is reinstating restrictions after a spike in cases among vaccinated people and with school a little more than a month away, we checked back in with the state to see if the rise in cases is affecting back to class guidance.

“My mom she has special conditions. She’s in a wheelchair and she also has a low immune system,” said Nelson Rojas of Springfield.

Rojas is about to turn 15 years old. He told Western Mass News that despite being protected against COVID-19, “my family has been fully vaccinated.”

News of the spreading Delta variant and breakthrough infections of vaccinated people has him nervous to go anywhere without a mask.

“It’s for the safety of my mom and grandmother and my family too because I don’t want to be the one who is responsible if I catch it,” Rojas noted.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the most common strain in the United States, but capturing more attention …

With school around the corner, we reached out to the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to see if there are any changes to their fully in-person model, especially after the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended on Monday that all children ages two and up wear masks at school, even if they’re vaccinated. Last we heard, all social distancing restrictions will be lifted come fall, but DESE officials on Tuesday said quote: “We will collaborate with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to issue any additional health and safety recommendations over the summer (e.g., masks for elementary school students). We will provide any updates to districts and schools.”

In one part of the state, mask guidance is back in effect. Provincetown has reinstated an indoor mask policy after a spike infected more than 100 people, many of them fully vaccinated breakthrough cases.

In western Massachusetts, most mask mandates are lifted.

“It’s voluntary here at the present time,” said South Hadley Town Administrator Michael Sullivan.

Sullivan said the town has seen three cases among unvaccinated people after two weeks of zero cases.

“…Watching that closely to make sure that we act in time and if we have to put more precautions in place, we certainly will,” Sullivan added.





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