New Haven school board discusses future of masks
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – While most school districts have made masking optional for students and staff, for now, New Haven is not ending the requirement.
A school board meeting held Monday evening will discuss the future of masks in schools across the city.
Two weeks ago, the New Haven School Board approved keeping masks in place at its schools.
It’s meeting again tonight, and the mayor of New Haven says as it approaches Elm City, he’s not yet ready to ditch the mask like so many other districts.
“I like having the mask, it makes me feel safe, just in case, because I’m not vaccinated, so it’s good to have it,” said Gio Ecton of Wilbur Cross High School.
The sensations on the face coverings differ.
“Do I want to wear a mask, 7 hours a week? No, but if it’s to keep us all safe, then I guess that’s what we need to do for now,” said Jaime Rodriguez of Wilbur Cross High School.
“It’s better not to take risks, you know, to catch COVID,” said Dylan Pellote, also of Wilbur Cross.
While most districts have made masking optional, in New Haven it’s still mandatory, with the city and health department saying its vaccination rates for students ages 5 to 17 are lower than neighboring towns. .
“It’s a bit difficult because we have to wear masks all day long,” said Hailey Montero of Wilbur Cross High School. “We have no say in anything. In my personal opinion, I feel like it shouldn’t be a thing.
Asked about the issue late last week, Mayor Justin Elicker says he understands there’s a lot of interest in masks because while the city dropped its mask mandate for public spaces last Monday, it remains in place for municipal buildings and public schools.
For now, that’s not changing.
“There are a lot of vulnerable children, especially in urban centers like New Haven. We have a very high rate of asthma and we want to make sure our children and our school staff are safe,” Elicker (D-New Haven) said.
Neighbor Hamden last week voted to make masks optional from next week.
And once Hartford lifts its mask mandate for schools in two weeks, New Haven will be one of the last remaining districts.
The mayor of Elm City says it may not be for very long.
“We have been following the cases very closely. My hope in the near future is that we can lift the mandate at our school, but I also think we have to be careful and we’re not there yet,” Elicker said.
Monday evening’s school board meeting is scheduled for 7 and will be held online.
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