LYNN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Governor Baker toured a Catholic school in Lynn on Friday to hear from students who have been learning in-person since late August.
The Governor was accompanied by Cardinal Sean O'Malley for a round-table discussion, where students shared the challenges of having in-person learning all year as well as the ways they have met those challenges -- through measures like daily mask-wearing and social distancing.
“We've also had tons of practical experience in the schools that have been open -- private, public and parochial – around [Covid-19] mitigation strategies generally and what works and what doesn’t," Baker said. "And the infection rates in these schools have been incredibly low.”
Baker said that with increased vaccinations and a reduction in the state's Covid-19 infection rate, it has become easier and safer to return to in-person learning.
"The progress the state has made with respect to reducing just the presence generally of Covid in the environment as we've ramped up vaccinations has been extraordinary," he said.
As of Thursday, the Commonwealth has administered nearly 2.3 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the state's Department of Public Health.
All of the schools in the Boston Archdiocese have been learning in-person for the entirety of the school year, while other schools around the state have had varying timelines for remote, hybrid and in-person plans.
Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced earlier this month that all Massachusetts elementary and middle schools will be expected to return to in-person learning full time by the end of April.
The move from the state has since received pushback from local educators and teachers unions, who argue that the state should not mandate high-risk employees to return to the in-person classroom before they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Educators became eligible on Thursday to receive the Covid-19 vaccine through the state's mass vaccination sites.
WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.