When will the in-school mask mandate be lifted? Gov. Murphy sheds some light on the question

It is now known how many children have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in New Jersey, and the numbers could give an idea on when the school mask mandate will be lifted, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

News 12 Staff

Nov 9, 2021, 2:14 PM

Updated 888 days ago

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It is now known how many children have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in New Jersey, and the numbers could give an idea on when the school mask mandate will be lifted, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
During his COVID-19 briefing Monday, Gov. Murphy remarked that 60% of eligible 12 to 17-year-olds in the state have been vaccinated. The governor also indicated the mask mandate would likely first be dropped in high schools. 
The governor says the state is going in the right direction when it comes to the number of positive cases and the number of vaccinations. Cases continue to fall and vaccinations are up. 
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Out of 650,000 eligible 12 to 17-year-olds, 260,000 have yet to be vaccinated. When it comes to 5 to 11-year-olds who just recently became eligible, that number is much smaller, less than 10,000 kids out of the eligible population of 760,000 received a vaccine shot.  
Health commissioner Judy Persichelli says she wants the numbers higher.  
Gov. Murphy says he's looking at a tiered approach when it comes to lifting the mask mandates. 
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“I could see it as we do it in a phased approach if that number of 12 to 17-year-olds gets into an acceptable zone and by definition it will before the younger kids you could see making a move phasing it in based on the age of the kids,” says Gov. Murphy. “High school versus middle school versus elementary school. That seems to be a sense of a way of thinking about this."
The in-school mask mandate executive order is scheduled to end Jan. 11, which means it would have to be re-upped. The governor did not give any specific dates when portions of the mandate could be lifted. 


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