As the state of New Jersey approaches another school year, Governor Phil Murphy today announced new requirements governing face coverings in schools. Face coverings will be required for all students at all times in school buildings, regardless of social distancing, Murphy said.
There will be exceptions for health, but today’s order clarified the policy with five weeks to go before the scheduled reopening of schools.
“We know that face coverings work and we will ensure that everyone in a school building will wear one,” said the governor, referencing a New Jersey Education Asociation (NJEA) recommendation issued earlier this summer.
Previously, Murphy had issued only a strong recommendation for masks and a requirement for hallways only, but today he pinpointed the face covering order.
Murphy made his remarks this afternoon at the War Memorial in Trenton shortly before he noted the loss of ten additional lives in New Jersey due to COVID-19, including five in-hospital deaths.
He briefly referenced a Department of Education FAQ document the department is finalizing.
“We hope the [document] will answer questions and make clear expectations,” the governor said.
In lihgt of the COVID-19 crisis, Murphy also said he is signing an executive order allowing public employee elligible for enrollment into the state health benefits plan to immediately enroll upon hire unstead of waiting sixty days.