Face masks are now optional at Waterbury public schools – NBC Connecticut

From Monday, face masks are optional at Waterbury Public Schools for students, teachers and staff.

Masks are optional in school buildings and on buses, although they are still recommended.

The Waterbury School Board made the decision on Thursday evening after there was a drop in positive cases in the community and the school system.

The Waterbury superintendent said the district had sent out a survey to families and staff.

Connecticut schools have begun dropping face mask requirements. Dr Laura Saunders from the Institute of Living has advice for parents on how to talk to their children, as some students no longer wear them while others do.

The survey found that students and parents were strongly in favor of keeping masks and staff were strongly in favor of removing them.

She expects differing opinions and perhaps some hesitation as she enters school on Monday.

“I understand both sides. I think it allows us to choose what we think is best for ourselves, for our pupils and for our children,” said Waterbury Schools Superintendent Dr Verna Ruffin.

The superintendent also said he will continue to monitor cases in the district and keep the same cleaning protocols in place.

“Any effects of COVID or any variations that we may encounter, we will continue to monitor that. We’re going to keep our schools with the same sanitary cleaning protocols we’ve had since the very beginning,” Ruffin said.

There are 19,000 students in the Waterbury Public School District. Ruffin says just under 35% of them are vaccinated.

The district sent home COVID-19 tests for everyone to take this weekend before returning to school on Monday.

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