Pressure Mounts for New Mask Mandate in NJ Schools
Governor Phil Murphy on Monday said he is "comfortable where we are" on mask mandates, but left the door open to reimplementing mask rules.
Murphy's comments come as a growing number of medical and healthcare groups are calling for masks to be again be required, especially for children.
A day after the American Academy of Pediatrics urged all U.S. schools to enforce mask mandates for all students in the Fall, The National Nurses Union is asking the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reinstate a universal mask mandate for everyone.
The NNU sent a letter to the CDC accusing the agency of focusing too much on vaccination while abandoning other preventative measures. "While Covid-19 vaccines are important public health tools, and the vaccination effort has been truly historic, Covid-19 vaccines are not enough by themselves to combat the pandemic," the NNU wrote. The letter went on to say CDC guidance issues last May saying the fully vaccinated could ditch the mask, failed to take into account "medically vulnerable patients, children, and infants who cannot be vaccinated, and immunocompromised individuals for whom vaccines may be less effective."
Both the NNU and AAP cited the inability to accurately identify who has been vaccinated and who has not.
So far, the CDC has not issued any updated mask guidance, and continues to say on it's website that immunized adults and teens can go without a mask, including inside schools.
As for New Jersey, a number of schools have already informed parents they will not need to sent kids to school with a mask, but they could wear one if they choose. A handful of districts, including Lakewood have gone in the opposite direction and made mask wearing for students and staff mandatory when classes resume in September.