A school district in New Jersey has reinstated its mask mandate due to an increased number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
In a letter on Tuesday, Passaic Public Schools Superintendent Sandra Montanez-Diodonet informed parents and staff that masks will be required starting on Wednesday for "all employees, Pre-K through grade 12 students, and visitors are required to wear face coverings in all district facilities, school grounds, and buses."
The letter read, "Please be advised that as per our Board Policy No. 5141.10, during periods of High Activity Level as published in the NJDOH COVID-19 Activity Level Report, mask-wearing is required."
Parents Defending Education criticized the decision, telling Fox News Digital in a statement: "For two years, parents witnessed the detrimental social effects that masks had on their children’s lives — which included difficulty building relationships with others because of an inability to read facial expressions, as well as generalized anxiety regarding crowds and proximity to others (to say nothing of the impact on educational achievement, such as reading and language comprehension problems)."
The group added, "Families are still dealing with the fallout from these policies, and will be doing so for years to come — so for districts across the country to yet again unilaterally impose mask mandates on suffering children defies logic. Different families have different levels of risk tolerance, and should anyone desire to have their children masked, they should be free to do so — but certainly not mandated."
On Wednesday, health officials in New Jersey reported an additional 1,866 Covid-19 cases for a seven-day average of 1,961 cases, an increase of 49% from last month according to NJ.com.
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