Categories: COVID-19NewsState

BREAKING: Murphy Extends School Mask Mandate For 30 Days

One hour ago Gov. Phil Murphy reinstated a Public Health Emergency “to ensure that the State is able to respond to the continued threat of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.” Executive Orders 280 and 281 extend the Public Health Emergency last issued in August 2021 because, said Murphy, “COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our State and we must commit every resource available to beating back the wave caused by the Omicron variant.”  

Murphy’s first choice to extend the mask mandate was passage of legislation that would extend his emergency powers. Yesterday the State Legislature declined to act which is why he resorted to declaring a Public Health Emergency, which supercedes legislative action.

The Executive Orders allow the state to  “extend various regulatory actions taken by the departments in response to COVID-19.” These actions include extending “existing orders requiring masking in school and daycare settings.”

The EO’s will expire after 30 days, unless Murphy renews them. In a statement he said, “While we hope to return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible, the step I am taking today is a commonsense measure that will protect the safety and well-being of all New Jersey residents while allowing state government to respond to the continuing threat that COVID-19 poses to our daily lives.”

In a video statement he made several references to K-12 schools: “Even today, the vast majority of our schools are open…Our children are back on playgrounds, back in the gym, and back on the ice. And the vaccines mean we have the tools necessary to finally put this virus behind us …The tools required to maintain our best-in-class testing infrastructure and vaccine distribution … The tools necessary to keep our kids safe in and out of school … In fact, in our day-to-day life, this step won’t have any new impact at all.”

For the video message, click here.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 280, click here.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 281, click here.

[Editor’s Note: Not all masks are the same. Here’s a handy graphic from the Wall Street Journal comparing the efficacy of cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 (K95’s come in a close second). For more information, see here.]

 

 

(Photo courtesy of InsiderNJ)

Staff Writer

Recent Posts

From NJEA to the Murphy’s Office and Back Again! Chief of Staff Gets a Promotion.

The New Jersey Education Association just announced the hiring of Deborah Cornavaca, currently Deputy Chief…

20 hours ago

Hopewell Valley Student Files Lawsuit Against District and Teacher For Multiple Sexual Assaults

Sara Stillitano, a 19-year-old high school senior, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Hopewell…

1 day ago

‘We Can’t Breathe’: Elizabeth City Community Members Assail District Leadership

At Elizabeth Board of Education’s public meeting last Thursday, racist social media posts by Superintendent…

2 days ago

‘We Need to Shift the Way We View Teachers,’ Says New Jersey Educator: Here’s Why

Robert Moore wrote this story for Honored, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping great teachers…

2 days ago

BREAKING: Chaos in Elizabeth As Community Calls Out Racism

Last night’s Elizabeth Board of Education meeting was raucous and chaotic, coming on the heels…

5 days ago

‘Doing Less Was Not an Option.’ How One New Jersey Charter School Kept Kids Learning No Matter What.

Note: Achievers Early College Prep is one of seven high-performing public charters with previously-approved expansions…

6 days ago