BROOKLINE, MASS. (WHDH) - Masks are making a comeback in one Massachusetts town.
The town of Brookline announced that starting Monday, masks will be required in all town-owned buildings, including schools.
The temporary order came after public health officials said they’ve monitored COVID-19 cases among students and staff in the school district.
Statewide, nearly 15,000 students and over 4,000 staff members tested positive for the virus last week. In Brookline, that number is 232 total cases in the school community.
Most counties in the state are now considered high risk for the spread of COVID, including Brookline’s Norfolk County.
Parents were divided over the change.
Jacqueline Ace, a Brookline parent, said she supported the updated rules, and that her kids have still been wearing masks since the mandate was lifted several weeks ago.
“It’s just better to be safer than sorry,” she said.
Hemant Bhide, another parent, did not support the mandate.
“If people feel that they are in a position to get sick, then they should be the ones wearing masks,” he said. “To mandate it for everyone for the sake of a few I don’t think makes a whole lot of sense.”
Another parent, Aia Polansky, noted that many young children have fallen behind in their speaking skills because masks make language comprehension harder.
“We went through the pandemic for two years and suffered from (it). Enough is enough,” she said.
Brookline officials said they will reassess the need for mask-wearing each week by reviewing county- and town-wide COVID case numbers, transmission rates and other data. One of two things must happen for them to drop the mandate: either Norfolk County must drop out of the high-risk zone or Brookline data must show that the town is no longer in a surge.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)