As COVID-19 cases rise in Boston, school and city officials are considering bringing back a mask mandate.
What do they hope a mask mandate would do? Avoid repeating last year's staffing issues and student absenteeism because of a similar COVID-19 surge.
In a letter sent to families, officials asked for everyone to to take precautions, and said that they could implement the masking policy for a couple of weeks after students and staff return to school.
Flu and RSV cases may be slowing down, but COVID-19 infections have been steadily rising -- up 7% according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with COVID-19-related deaths up by 15%.
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Some health experts say that what they're seeing is unprecedented.
"I have been in and around emergency room departments for well over 30 years and have not seen anything along these lines before," Dr. David Clark of Jersey Shore University Medical Center in New Jersey told NBC News.
"The big unknown for us at this point is what kind of [COVID-19] season are we going to have," said another health expert. "Obviously we had two very difficult winters in the past two years. Now I think we have to brace for that."
Experts say that if you're traveling, you should assume you're traveling with sick passengers. Health experts heavily encourage wearing a mask in public, testing yourself for COVID-19 before you return to work or school after the holidays and stocking up on medications if you can find them.
As for the indoor masking in Boston, a decision could be made by the end of this week.
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