Health Update: Revised Mask Guidelines
As you likely know, yesterday Governor Charlie Baker issued updated guidance on COVID-19 restrictions in the Commonwealth. Notable among these was a recommendation related to the wearing of masks during outdoor activities at schools--specifically recess, Physical Education and outdoor learning.
Dr. Jett, the Commissioner of Public Health for Brookline, stated today that Brookline will rescind its outdoor mask mandate on May 29th.
Brookline will follow the guidelines set forth by Governor Baker, beginning on May 29th.
Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks indoors and when unable to socially distance when outdoors.
Dr. Jett has approved that the Public Schools of Brookline follow the guidelines stating that students at recess do not need to wear masks. The Public Schools of Brookline will institute this change tomorrow, May 19, 2021.
Given the low rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19, students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained. This updated guidance applies to recess, physical education, youth sports, and outdoor learning environments. Adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained.
At this time, adults and students must continue to wear masks indoors.
Given the low likelihood of surface transmission of Covid-19, new guidance states that schools no longer have to avoid sharing objects. This includes classroom materials, items for physical education, or art supplies. Shared objects no longer have to be cleaned or disinfected between use and should follow the updated cleaning guidance outlined below.
The Public Schools of Brookline will continue to enforce good handwashing practices.
Based on CDC guidance and updated information on the low likelihood of surface transmission, schools now only need to clean high touch surfaces (door handles, bus seats, drinking fountains) and shared objects within the school and on school transport vehicles once a day, excluding certain circumstances.
Additionally, in alignment with state guidance, the gathering limits for school events with outside participation will be lifted starting May 29, 2021. The other health and safety measures, such as masking, distancing, and other protocols, as previously outlined by DESE will continue.
- Updated Guidance and FAQ from the Massachusettes Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) - May 17, 2021