mask mandate

Mass. Teachers Union Calls for Mask Mandate in Schools and Colleges

The Massachusetts Teachers Association is also calling on Baker to push to get more eligible students vaccinated, make in-school testing free and consistent and to provide more funding for ventilation system upgrades

Massachusetts is recommending that all students in kindergarten through sixth grade wear masks inside who can, but one of the state's teachers unions is going further.

The board of the Massachusetts Teachers Association is pushing Gov. Charlie Baker and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to require masks for all students and staff in all schools, including colleges and universities.

"With all the mitigation protections DESE mandated last year currently lifted … nothing in the state guidance stands between our youngest learners and COVID-19," the board said in an action item unanimously agreed to Sunday, adding that some older students may not have gotten vaccinated either.

The union is also calling on Baker to push to get more eligible students vaccinated, make in-school testing free and consistent and to provide more funding for ventilation system upgrades.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended that all K-12 students, even those who have been vaccinated, wear masks inside at school this fall. The update came after the American Academy of Pediatrics made a similar recommendation.

Children younger than 12 are not yet eligible to get any COVID vaccines.

Baker has previously said he's reviewing the new CDC guidance, but has pointed out that Massachusetts has among the best vaccination rates in the country, which may mean it's able to enact different rules than other places that have worse COVID situations.

After new guidance was issued for children in schools and people who've been fully vaccinated in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker explained why the moves were made.
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