On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the state's change in policy when it comes to students having to wear masks in school.  Students, faculty, and employees will not be required to wear masks during the upcoming school year unless the individual districts apply their own rules or the Centers for Disease Control revises its current position.  Welcome news for some New Jersey parents, who have been protesting outside the Statehouse.

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The new update which basically ends New Jersey's statewide mandate comes on the heels of a previous mask-wearing change in the past month.  Murphy’s directive then, allowed for students to remove their masks in school during Blazing temperatures.  Even so, many school districts still kept some semblance of their own mandate.

Lakewood public schools prepare classrooms for the start of school (Lakewood Public Schools)

That’s where this Jersey Shore school district comes in.  Lakewood Public Schools will still require a mask mandate during the upcoming school year.  Their plan doesn’t stop there. 

As staff and the 5,600 students return to learning in September, before they can enter the buildings and board buses, temperature checks will be mandatory.  Every desk will be separated from each other with plastic dividers.  Plastic shields will also be available to protect staff and students.  They have also gone as far as providing cloth masks to any student who needs one.

Lakewood High School sign (Adam Hochron)

Here are some Covid19 stats that may be the driver to these tougher restrictions.  As of June 25, the number of Covid19 cases among Lakewood residents totaled 13,721.  That ranks them as the 5th largest in New Jersey.  More, only 32% in Lakewood are vaccinated.  Compare that to the 64% number registered statewide.

Whatever side of the mask mandate you’re on, one thing for sure is they have become such a fashion statement.  My friends Ellen Kravitz Slattery and Laurie Serenkin both used their creativity during Covid to help calm our fears.  Check out their designs…

Home-made Covid19 Mask Designs

But wait there's more...

MORE Home-made Covid19 Mask Designs