Massachusetts state agencies released guidance for schools on Friday, July 30, to outline recommendations on masking protocols for this fall.
The state requires all districts and schools to be in-person, full-time, five days a week this fall. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE] announced on May 27, it lifted for fall all previously released DESE health and safety requirements.
DESE and the Department of Public Health [DPH] strongly recommended the following or schools when fall sessions begin:
- All students in kindergarten through grade 6 wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions or behavioral needs
- Masks are unnecessary outdoors
- Unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors wear masks indoors, in alignment with the statewide advisory on masking
DESE and DPH also made the following recommendations:
- Schools allow vaccinated students to remain unmasked
- Any individual at higher risk for severe COVID-related disease or with a similar household member is encouraged to mask
- Any child or family who prefers to mask at school should be supported in this choice
- All students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time
- Staff and students must wear masks while in school health offices.