Face masks are back

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT - SEPTEMBER 16: Teacher Elizabeth DeSantis, wearing a mask and face shield, helps a first grader during reading class at Stark Elementary School on September 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. Most students at Stamford Public Schools are taking part in a hybrid education model, where they attend in-school classes every other day and distance learn the rest. About 20 percent of students in the school district, however, are enrolled in the distance learning option due to coronavirus concerns. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Teacher Elizabeth DeSantis, wearing a mask and face shield, helps a first grader during reading class at Stark Elementary School on September 16, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 11:15 AM PT – Thursday, December 22, 2022

A school district in New Jersey has reinstated its mask mandate due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in its community.

The Passaic Public School District in New Jersey posted a notice to their Twitter account on Tuesday stating that the mask mandate will be effective starting on Wednesday. All employees, Pre-K through grade 12 students and visitors on all school grounds are required to adhere by the mandate.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) had lifted the statewide mask mandate in March. He recently said that he does not see the state returning to a mask mandate anytime soon.

 “(I don’t) foresee any mandates in New Jersey unless something drastically changes,” the governor said.

The school district reinstated the mandate after state health officials and the CDC reported that Passaic County is among the 10 counties that reached “high” community levels of COVID-19 in New Jersey.

The mask reinstatement was met with backlash from the local community and parents. They claimed that wearing masks have harmful long-term effects on children. Some also claimed that mandating mask wearing is a form of child abuse.

The reinstatement of the mask mandate has also prompted some parents to call on each other to withdraw their children from the public-school system and to homeschool them instead.

Passaic Public Schools is one of New Jersey’s largest school districts. It has about 14,000 students and 17 schools in the district.