BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Kim Janey on Thursday announced that Boston Public Schools will require students to wear face masks this fall as cases of the delta variant and breakthrough cases continue to rise across the Bay State.
Children in Boston will be required to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status, according to Janey.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently only available to children ages 12 and over.
“There are a number of children who are still not eligible for the vaccine and so children are currently wearing masks as they are in summer school and in different programs throughout the city and this fall they will be wearing masks still,” Janey said during a press conference on Thursday.
This announcement comes as Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said he has no plans to reinstate the mask mandate for schools this fall.
“I think what’s got to be the rule of thumb here is that people make decisions based on the current state of play in respect to the virus in their states,” Baker said. “We’re in a very different place than most of the other parts of the country.”
Members of the Boston Teacher’s Union said they are supporting the mayor’s decision.
“With the uncertainty surrounding the delta variant, low vaccine rates for students 12-17 and no options for children under 12, we agree with Mayor Janey’s choice to play it as safe as possible,” President Jessica Tang said. “Once vaccines are available and approved for young children, it will certainly make sense to reevaluate, but right now we agree with the Mayor that these steps are necessary to protect the health and safety of our students.”
Towns and cities will continue to set their own policies on mask-wearing.
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