West Hartford Public Schools to make masks mandatory this fall – NBC Connecticut
West Hartford Public Schools will require masks for all students and staff this fall, according to a message from the superintendent.
The district will begin the school year by requiring masks in all classrooms, at school and on buses, according to the post from Superintendent Tom Moore, who noted that the decision is based on a combination of factors. These include advice from the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the state’s public health department, and the number of current cases.
Current CDC guidelines are that people should wear masks, regardless of their immunization status, in areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission of COVID-19. Hartford County is currently classified as having “high” transmission.
Moore stressed that this will be a term, not optional, and that it is in the best interests of having everyone in school and keeping people healthy.
“Some parents have said that they will not allow their child to wear a mask at school. I must be clear, this is not optional. Therefore, if a child refuses, the parents will be called to come on. Please, no matter how much you care about this, don’t put your child in that position, ”Moore wrote.
The question of whether children should wear masks in schools has been divisive across the country. In Connecticut, there have been anti-mask rallies with protesters wearing signs and bumper stickers calling on the state to “unmask our children.” A statewide mask mandate is not in effect, but Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday issued an executive order that gives municipalities the power to create their own universal masking guidelines. Final state guidance on what will be required of school districts has yet to be released.
The superintendent also pointed out in his post that the district has seen a “very large percentage” of students getting vaccinated, and that the district plans to host vaccination clinics when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for less. 12 years old.
More details on the district’s plans and COVID-19 policies are available here.