Maplewood’s Columbia High School Enacts Mask Mandate For Graduation

In a letter sent out on Tuesday, the administrator of Columbia High School in the South Orange-Maplewood School District stated that because of COVID instances among students, students must wear masks at school, on the bus, and during the high school graduation on Friday.

A separate letter from the middle school administration to district parents last week stated that a requirement at Maplewood Middle School will remain at least until this Thursday.

In the most recent letter, Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez stated that three students had tested positive for the virus there in the previous 14 days and may have exposed others during the most recent prom, which is what prompted the additional requirement.

Sanchez reportedly allegedly instructed kids and their families to wear masks to this Friday’s high school graduation ceremony, according to reports in TAPInto and Village Green.

There were 18 incidents in the district during the past two weeks, according to a weekly case tracker for the schools.

The district had stated on June 10 that they would keep its mask requirement in place for PreK–3 pupils who had not received vaccinations until the conclusion of the school year.

The state said last week that COVID-19 was to blame for 84 fatalities nationwide.

Federal representatives recommended a reintroduction to masks in indoor settings in 13 counties earlier this month, but they left Essex County out.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 6 months and older have now received CDC approval, however they are not yet widely accessible.

Livingston is now the location of Essex County’s vaccination and testing facility.

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