Are We Almost Through With Masks in Schools? Maybe, Says Murphy

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Yesterday during an interview on PIX11’s morning news program, Gov. Phil Murphy said he expects to lift the in-school mask mandate before the end of this academic year as long as COVID numbers continue to drop. Currently the rate of transmission (RT) number is below 1, which mean each person infected with the coronavirus is spreading it to less than one other person. When the pandemic began, the RT number was over 5.

“I think there’s a real shot at that,” said Murphy. “We’re early days in terms of turning the corner but it certainly looks like we’ve begun to turn the corner.”

The total number of New Jersey residents who have died during the pandemic is 30,476.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of COVID transmission in American schools found that masking un-vaccinated teachers and improving ventilation correlated with lower transmission of the virus. However, the study also found that social distancing, hybrid models, plexiglass barriers, HEPA filters, and student masking did not have a statistical benefit to reducting the spread of COVID within schools. The U.S. is only one of seven of first-world nations that require masks in schools. In addition, the cloth masks typically worn by children have been found to be “highly ineffective” at protecting against the spread of the Omicron variant.

 

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