Newton Public Schools recommending masks when students, staff return from winter break

NEWTON, Mass. — Newton Public Schools on Monday announced that officials are recommending students and staff wear masks to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses when they return from winter break on Tuesday.

“We are, as always, prioritizing the health and safety of our school community. Prior to the break, we experienced a rise in absences for both students and staff due to cases of flu, COVID, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses. We expect we may continue to see increases in illnesses following the break as well,” NPS said in a statement.

The school district is strongly recommending “that all staff and students wear face coverings for the first two weeks of school following the break,” the statement said.

The recommendation “is made in an effort to keep our students in school learning and to keep our classrooms and buildings operating with safe and appropriate staffing.

Newton’s public school district joins Boston Public Schools, which made a similar announcement on Friday asking that students and staff to wear masks when they return from winter break.

The district is also urging the school community to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or if a tissue is not available, cover them with an elbow, not a hand.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces. NPS will continue its practice of cleaning high-touch surfaces in our classrooms and buildings. Disinfecting high-touch surfaces like doorknobs is crucial to prevent illness.
  • Wear a face covering. Wearing a mask protects against respiratory droplets and is effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • Avoid exposure to people who are sick. In addition, please keep your student home if sick.

Boston Public Schools’ temporary masking policy will be in effect from Wednesday, Jan 4, through Friday, Jan. 13, and no one will be disciplined or sent home if they refuse to wear a mask, BPS noted.

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