Democratic Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee and state health and education officials are recommending the use of masks in schools to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

McKee said in a statement Thursday that the state is urging schools align their policies with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending universal mask use within school settings.

“As Rhode Island has done previously, we will continue to follow the CDC’s most recent update to its guidance for schools. We strongly recommend that school districts set a policy that requires masking in schools this fall regardless of vaccination status in direct correlation with CDC guidance,” McKee said in joint statement with Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and Director of the Department of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott.

“We also know that vaccinations are the most powerful tool we have as we work towards a full return to in-person learning in the fall. With the start of the school year several weeks away, now is the time for eligible staff and students to get vaccinated,” they added.

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