Gov. Murphy: School mask mandate won’t be forever; doesn’t anticipate mandating vaccine for kids
Gov. Phil Murphy says students, teachers, and parents might not have to deal with wearing masks in school all year.
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During his daily COVID-19 update, the governor said the state will eventually relax the student indoor mask mandate.
New Jersey’s Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Ed Lifshitz says masking could end when the virus is less common, less deadly, or if there are other prevention measures, such as vaccines for kids.
“It would be nice to say, there's a single number for a single amount of time, but unfortunately at least in my mind it's somewhat more complicated than that because it really is looking at how all these different things are interacting,” says Dr. Lifshitz.
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Gov. Murphy doesn't anticipate vaccines will be mandated for children when they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but says the option is on the table.
In California last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his state would require any child going to K-12 schools to be vaccinated, pending full FDA approval of the vaccine for kids under 12. The vaccine mandate for kids 12 and older could be in place as early as Jan. 1.
Gov. Murphy says he does not want New Jersey to follow suit but acknowledges it's an option.