NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that teachers and students are allowed to remove their masks during heat waves.
At his briefing on June 7, Murphy explained that if temperatures reach over 90 degrees, school districts can drop the mask requirement.
“It is hot today and above-average temperatures and humid conditions are forecast for at least the next couple of days,” Murphy said.
With temperatures reaching close to 95 degrees this past weekend, the heat wave caused some schools in the state to have early dismissal due to not having air conditioning. Murphy said these heat-related exceptions with the school mask mandate have been in place since last summer.
“As a reminder to all school officials, our current masking requirements do include exceptions for cases of extreme heat in outdoor settings and for situations indoors or outdoors where wearing a mask would inhibit the individual’s health. School officials are empowered to relax masking among students and staff in their buildings, given extreme weather conditions, and we hope they will make the right calls for their educational communities.”
Last month Murphy announced that he’d be lifting the mask mandate for most public places, but still required masks to be worn in schools and daycare. He explained how masks will continue to be required because kids under 12 can’t be vaccinated yet.
Many school districts have written letters to Murphy asking to end the mask mandate for students. Although Murphy has yet to budge, a final decision has not been made for the 2021-2022 school year. He previously said that parents should plan to continue sending their children to school with masks in September.