Cambridge, Arlington & Belmont school officials encourage kids to put masks back on

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — School officials in Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont are now encouraging students to put the mask back on.

The new recommendations announced on Monday come less than two months after mask mandates were dropped in those districts.

It follows the CDC classifying Middlesex County as having a high level of COVID-19 transmission.

“Due to an increase in the number of COVID cases and COVID-related hospitalizations within our community, we are encouraging our entire school community to mask, particularly when we are indoors,” said a message sent to Cambridge families. “Please note that we are NOT reinstating a requirement but advising mask use based on current data.”

Arlington’s superintendent said school officials will tell families by May 15th if they plan to extend the recommendation.

Some schools in Arlington already have mask requirements in place.

Superintendent Elizabeth Homan announced the recommendation for all the other schools after the district recorded 159 positive cases last week.

That’s the highest weekly total since the Omicron surge last winter.

A letter sent to Belmont families asked parents to “consider having your student wear a mask while in school”.

Boston 25 News spoke with some parents who said they never stopped telling their kids to wear a mask throughout the school day.

“The cases are going up. I think the masks protect them. I feel better,” said Cynthia Hsyung, a Cambridge mother of three.

Others said they’d like to see more people wearing masks in indoor spaces aside from schools.

“I would say I wish they were enforcing it even on a larger scale for all indoors,” said Cambridge mother Dolphia Arnstein.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lifted the statewide mask requirement for K-12 schools on February 28th.

The decision to keep or drop mask requirements was then left up to individual school districts.

Boston Public Schools continues to require mask wearing inside all of its schools and on school buses.

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