New Lifted Mask Policy in Schools

New Lifted Mask Policy in Schools

Juliette Viera

For the first time in this global pandemic, many New Jersey counties will have their mandatory mask policy lifted for all school staff and students. Governor Murphy announced in the morning of February 7th, 2022, that starting in March the mask policy set in schools will be lifted allowing anybody to remove their masks without any ordain.

As the symbol of health protection since 2020, masks have been required for entrance to stores, events, schools, and those without the Covid vaccine. The effectiveness of the facial mask has discontinued the spread of the Covid-19 virus, protecting the ones around us. However, debates on the opposition against masks and the rights of the people have increased violently over the course of the past 2 years. 

Here in Kearny, New Jersey, Covid cases have been an ongoing roller coaster keeping a non-consistent rate of Covid cases every week. After the holiday break, new cases emerged forcing a few schools, including KHS, to go virtual for a week. Though the amount of cases has decreased since then, Kearny has a total average of 8.1 cases per every 7 days (recorded Feb. 7) according to However, it is unsure if this average rate will continue on to the beginning of March. 

Kearny High will be part of the schools participating in this mask mandate for NJ districts. Many throughout the school year have expressed their own thoughts and opinions on the mask policy; some in favor, some not. 

Out of 73 KHS students, 61 alumni voted to keep their facial coverings during this spring season in school. The other 12 voted for the opposing side and will be discarding their masks. 

Though the extra protection that the mask provides against the virus, many nevertheless have shared the uncomfortable feeling of wearing one for 5+ hours. Some students mentioned the dryness of skin, dehydration, and back of ear pain, they have gotten from wearing masks for a long period of time for 5 days straight. 

Recently a news conference was held with Governor Murphy, where he declared an extended public health emergency for 30 days, pushing back the mask lifted mandate to March 7th.