As you may be aware, Governor Murphy recently announced the lifting of the universal mask mandate, requiring that masks be worn by all individuals while inside school buildings. At Hunterdon Preparatory School, masks will become optional for all students, staff, and visitors starting Monday, March 7th.
In addition, on Friday, February 25th, the CDC announced that masks are no longer required on school buses or school operated vehicles. The NJ Department of Health instructed schools that the mask mandate for school transportation would also be lifted effective March 7th. Please be aware that the decision to lift the mask mandate is determined by your child’s sending district. Students must comply with their sending district’s masking policy for transportation.
We understand that some of our community members may still want or need to continue mask wearing while in the school building. Certain circumstances will indeed require that masks be worn. Individuals who are returning to school from quarantine for illness or close contact with COVID-19 will need to wear a mask in school for 5 days upon their return. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while at school will need to wear a mask in the school building until they are picked up from school. In addition, if transmission activity levels return to orange or red, in compliance with NJ Department of Health guidance, we will reinstate the indoor mask requirement.
For now, contact tracing, social distancing protocols, and all other safety protocols, outlined in our Safe Return Plan, remain in place. We will keep you informed if and when the New Jersey Department of Health publishes new guidance concerning these protocols.
Please remember that daily screening of your child for symptoms of infectious disease, fever, and other illness prior to their school day remains our best defense in maintaining a healthy school community.
The news of the COVID-19 landscape is encouraging and lifting of the indoor mask restriction is a sign that we may be nearing the end of the pandemic. We want to thank you all for your two years of cooperation with our health and safety protocols and for helping to keep the HPS community healthy and safe.
Toby Ray Loyd