Mask Mandate Update - February 15, 2022

Mask Mandate Update - February 15, 2022
Posted on 02/16/2022

Good Evening Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

I have heard from many of you concerning what  the mask mandate discussions recently held by the Governor, State Representatives, and Senators means for Newington Public Schools.

Over the past week, the General Assembly convened and discussed House Bill 5047. The House passed the bill last week and the Senate passed the bill yesterday. While the Department of Public Health or Commissioner of Education have the authority to reinstate the statewide mask mandate in schools, they are unlikely to do so at this time.

Therefore barring any unexpected actions by the aforementioned agencies, effective February 28, there is no longer a mask mandate in Connecticut PreK-12 Schools. Only local Boards of Education have the authority to reinstate the mandate through official action at a public meeting. In conversations today with Board Chair, Dr. Bruce Fletcher and other Board members, no action is planned at this time. The current legislation does allow both the Governor and local Boards of Education to reinstate the mandate should local conditions warrant such action. I await guidance from the Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education as to what they recommend as a reason for possible mask reinstatement consideration.

It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) still recommends (but does not mandate) that masks be worn in public schools. Therefore none of these upcoming changes  preclude any student or staff member from continuing to wear a mask in school. In fact, many individuals have already told me they plan to do so. Some parents have expressed concern regarding bullying of students who continue to wear masks. Should this occur, we will address this at each school in keeping with our anti bullying policies.

Finally, mask wearing on school buses is a Federal mandate and will continue to be required at this time. As always, I will keep you fully informed of any changes to the mask mandate as well as our other COVID mitigation measures.

Be Well.

Maureen Brummett, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools