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CDC Recommends Masks In K-12 Schools For All, Regardless Of Vaccination Status

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status, in updated masking guidance.

"The CDC recommends that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students and visitors," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. "Children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place."

The CDC also urged vaccinated people in certain areas of the country with high or substantial COVID tranmission to resume wearing masks.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had planned to lift all safety restrictions for schools in the fall, and Gov. Charlie Baker said that face mask mandates aren't being considered for the new school year.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Gov. Baker's press secretary said, "The Baker-Polito Administration is reviewing the new face covering guidance released by the CDC today."

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy told WBZ-TV, "Everybody wants a return to some sort of normalcy, being back in person does give us this and our educators still have a high level of concern for our students who are not yet eligible for the vaccine and also for their own health and safety and that of their families and their communities, given that there are breakthrough cases."

But in Boston Public Schools, Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius wrote in a letter to parents last week that masks will be required at the start of the new school year.

"BPS expects that all students and staff will be required to wear masks while inside school buildings and during yellow bus transportation when they return to school in September," Cassellius said.

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