Mandate Extended Through Feb. 28
MATTAPOISETT — Superintendent Michael S. Nelson would like to share information regarding the latest update to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) mask mandate for the current school year.
On Monday, Jan. 10, after consulting with medical experts and state health officials, DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced the extension of the school mask mandate — first issued Aug. 25, 2021 — through at least Feb. 28.
Under the state’s mask mandate, all K-12 students, educators and staff are required to wear a mask while in schools through at least Feb. 28. This extension will help to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. School visitors are additionally required to wear masks during this time.
According to the mandate, masks may be removed indoors or other mitigation strategies may be put into place when necessary for students to participate in certain elective classes. At this time, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) also continues to require masking for student-athletes, coaches and officials that are indoors for any sports-related activity. School athletic events at off-campus venues should adhere to the same masking protocols, according to the MIAA.
Parents and guardians should continue to note that separate from DESE’s mask mandate, under the Department of Public Health’s mask advisory, students riding any district bus or visiting any district health office are required to wear masks at all times while in these settings.
The 80% vaccination threshold protocol, which went into effect Oct. 15, 2021 and gives schools the option to lift the mask mandate if it demonstrates a vaccination rate of 80% or more of all students and staff, remains in place. Vaccination data for the districts’ schools can be found on the COVID-19 Dashboard here.