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.