Last day of masks for many K-12 students ahead of break

BROCKTON, Mass. — While Boston and Chelsea are keeping a mask mandate for school students past Feb. 28, Brockton joins many other districts dropping the mask mandate. Friday will be the last day students will be required to wear masks, days after the school committee voted 6-1 to end it, according to the Brockton Enterprise.

Reported COVID cases have been plummeting for weeks in Massachusetts as the Omicron variant wanes.

The latest report from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education showed a 42 percent decline in combined student and staff cases compared to the previous week. Over 3,200 students and 670 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 from Feb. 10 and 17, according to DESE.

Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced the statewide school mask mandate would expire on Feb. 28, leaving districts the option to keep their local mask mandate or not.

Before the announcement, 42 schools had already ended masking in schools after reaching DESE’s vaccination rate threshold of 80 percent. Students must still wear masks on school buses, per a federal order.

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