The Perth Amboy Schools Superintendent released a letter this past week Feb 23 saying that the school district will be mask optional starting March 7, citing the low number of COVID cases. Some parents on facebook said they did not agree with this decision and that there was no community engagement in making the decision. According to the letter children do not have to wear masks when in the classroom but will have to wear them when they go on their buses. The next school board meeting is March 10 at 5:30pm and school board members suggested that parents come to make their voices heard.
Gov. Phil Murphy decided earlier this month to lift the mask mandate for schools effective March 7, but left if up to local school districts to decide if they wanted to keep it or not. Statewide it was reported that 2 out of 3 children were not vaccinated. In Perth Amboy, to date, only 65% of youth 12-17 are fully vaccinated and the overall fully vaccinated rate is 66%. Boosters are also available now for youth 12 and up. The vaccine is effective and is free and readily available. To be considered fully vaccinated to receive the most protection benefits, a person needs 2 doses of the vaccine. Vaccination of youth 5 and up is important and needs to be addressed.
The State Department of Public Health came out with some guidance about the need to develop strategies for when variants emerge and if cases increase. During periods of heavy transmission, universal masking is recommended.