HOPKINTON (CBS) - Hopkinton High School has become the first in the state to drop the COVID mask mandate. The school committee voted Thursday night to make masks optional for vaccinated students at the high school.
Ninety-eight percent are fully vaccinated - well above the 80% requirement by the state to lift the mandate.
"I think a lot of students have put in a lot of work with quarantining and monitoring their symptoms and getting vaccinated," Hopkinton senior Jessie Ianelli said. "So it's nice to see those efforts be rewarded a little bit finally and to be able to have somewhat of a normal school experience again."
The mask mandate will return the week of November 22 for Thanksgiving and holiday travel. The school committee will revisit the mandate after Thanksgiving.
"I'm really happy that we broke that barrier and that we made a breakthrough in this COVID pandemic," said junior Ryan Darbhanga. "We're finally, essentially maybe returning back to a normal status."
The students themselves created a survey for their fellow classmates. More than 70% voted "yes" for lifting a mask mandate.
"Most of the people I know in the school are vaccinated, so I don't really feel like there is a risk anymore," said senior Sebastian Losada.
Some school committee members were worried about flu season, unvaccinated younger siblings and future variants, so a three-week trial will be implemented from November 1 to November 19.
Regardless, many students are looking forward to the next maskless chapter.
"To be able to have somewhat of a normal school experience again, even if it's just for a trial period and see how that goes. Maybe have some events like pep rally, and powderpuff, and all those things back again without masks," Ianelli said.
Those who are not vaccinated are still expected to wear masks.
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