The school committee will take the masks on Tuesday – East Greenwich News

According to school committee chair Anne Musella, the question of whether or not mask-wearing should continue in EG schools will be on the agenda for its meeting on Tuesday. This follows Gov. Dan McKee’s announcement Wednesday that the statewide school mask mandate will be lifted on March 4, leaving decisions about mask-wearing to be made by individual school districts.

Although the school committee has the power to revise district COVID policy, a revision approved last August included language giving the Superintendent. Alexis Meyer authority to revise mask rules.

“In practice,” Musella said, “we work closely with the superintendent to develop and draft all district policies. Throughout Covid, the school committee has always followed its recommendations.

One of the reasons McKee decided to drop the mask mandate was Rhode Island’s high vaccination rate. In East Greenwich, as of February 5, 79% of eligible students had received at least two doses of the vaccine; 82% were partially vaccinated. Anyone 5 years of age or older can receive the vaccine. This still leaves pre-K students unvaccinated.

The number of COVID-19 cases among EGSD students and staff peaked at 160 in the first week of January; they had fallen to 22 by the first week of February.

Meanwhile, City Manager Andy Nota said that from Monday (2/14) masks are optional for in-person meetings in all public buildings in East Greenwich for those who are fully vaccinated and can present proof of vaccination. For everyone else, masks are still mandatory.

The City Council will meet virtually with the School Committee on Monday, but plans to return to the hybrid (in-person and virtual) for its next meetings, starting Tuesday, February 22.

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