The Updated Massachusetts Mask Mandate


Sasha Callaway '23, Editor-in-Chief of 'The Legend'

Finally, residents of Massachusetts received the news that they have been waiting for since March 13, 2020. Almost two years later, citizens of this state are permitted to safely remove their masks in schools! Although it is relatively unclear what this means for the future of Austin Prep, it is very exciting to literally and figuratively unmask ourselves in school for the first time in two years. 

On February 9, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the mandatory mask mandate will be lifted in K-12 schools as soon as February 28, 2022. Massachusetts’ secondary education commissioner, Jeffrey C. Riley, emphasizes this excitement by predicting that removing the mask will make it “easier for students to learn”

But like all news that has surfaced during this pandemic, the removal of the mask mandate has been met with some backlash. Some argue that vaccine rates among children are not high enough to be able to safely remove masks in enclosed spaces, while others oppose this by referencing the drop in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Yet regardless of the updated mask mandate, it will be up to each individual school district as to whether or not they adopt this new policy.  Currently, Austin Prep students and faculty are required to wear masks in school as of an email sent today, February 9, 2022, sent by Mr. Fleming. However, this is subject to change in correspondence with the town of Reading’s policies. If we are to finally safely remove our masks, are the students of Austin Prep excited?!