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Maryland School Board To Reconsider Universal Mask Mandate In December

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Masks in schools have been a hot topic for months now but come December, the state school board will reconsider the universal mask mandate and quarantine policies.

As vaccination rates go up in schools across the country, the question now is: when can masks come down?

"It's a good idea to have an ongoing conversation," said Ryan Brooks.

At a state school board meeting Tuesday, officials jump-started the conversation on masks and quarantining rules in the classrooms saying they're considering changes in the near future.

"Higher vaccination rates mean lower levels of transmission and lower case rates," said State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury.

Carroll, Howard and Anne Arundel counties have already relaxed their quarantine policies. Carroll's being the most extreme by not requiring students with possible exposure to stay home if they're asymptomatic.

As for masks, a statewide mandate has been in place since mid-September. State officials say they'll reassess the need to keep it in December.

"Hopefully there will be more clarity about vaccination rates and there will be more information out there about how we should proceed," said Clarence Crawford, President of Maryland State Board of Education.

Right now, data shows vaccines for students and teachers are up as covid cases in schools are trending down. Vaccine approval for children as young as five is expected soon.

"I would even think after vaccinations roll out, give it a month give it six weeks maybe get to the 70% mark," said Ryan Brooks.

But for some parents, masks in school give them peace of mind, vaccinated or not.

"I don't think it's a good idea at all," said Terrance Lawrence. "Remain wearing masks, remain quarantining. No, it wouldn't make my kid feel more safe because what if one child had covid."

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