BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Public Schools students and staff will no longer be required to wear face masks starting next week, with some exceptions.
On Wednesday, Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu sent a letter to Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius advising that masking no longer be required indoors in Boston Public Schools beginning Monday, June 13.
The letter states the decision is based on a sustained downward trend in COVID-19 case rates and hospital admissions over the last 14 days.
BPHC also compared publicly-available COVID case rate data among Boston Public Schools students versus three neighboring school districts: Brookline, Cambridge, and Newton.
"The number of cases per 1000 students was significantly lower among Boston school students than among each of the other three public school districts during the period when BPS required masking and the other districts were mask optional," the letter reads.
Ojikutu's letter listed the exceptions in which indoor masking would still be required:
- Students and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are returning to school before a full 10 days of isolation, must mask for the remaining days. Example: A student comes back to school on Day 6 because they have a negative COVID-19 test, the student should be masked for Day 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
- Students and staff who are identified as part of a cluster investigation with in-school transmission, or while a potential cluster within the cohort is being investigated, for a duration of time as determined in consultation with the BPHC.
- Students and staff who are identified as experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while in school, including students who are identified as having possible symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting pick up from school by parents or caregivers.
Masking will also still be required in school health offices.