Mask Mandates

School Districts Implement Mask Mandates & Other Mitigation Efforts

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hartford Public Schools is the latest district to mandate masks inside schools regardless of vaccination status.

The district joins a growing list of school districts requiring face coverings including New Britain, New Haven, Norwich and Waterbury.

"We're being informed by the guidance right that the health experts and officials are providing to us," said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.

On Tuesday, the district made the decision to mandate face coverings as a part of the school system's four-step approach. Masking is the first layer. The other mitigation efforts include: 3-feet social distancing, visitors only allowed inside buildings after completing a health screening and abiding by COVID protocols, preK through eighth grade students will be cohorts and the elimination of remote-learning options for students.

Hartford's district also announced that all vaccinated students and staff will not have to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic.

"The layering and nesting of the mitigations in place will hopefully add another layer of protection to the entire cohorts," said Torres-Rodriguez.

New Britain and Norwich Public Schools issued a similar set of guidelines. New Britain plans to host public forums for parents on August 14, 24 and September 1. New Haven Public Schools is hosting a virtual public forum for parents on Thursday.

Torres-Rodriguez tells NBC Connecticut that when it comes to exemptions for masks and or remote learning, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

"If there is a situation, we need to understand that what the medical accommodation is and those are on a one-to-one individual basis," said Torres-Rodriguez.

NBC Connecticut asked the superintendent if there is a backup plan in the event of widespread infection.

"We are actually looking at all of that, we are continuing to meeting with our administrators and having those conversations," said Torres-Rodriguez. "We know that we learned so much with regard to how to level technology."

Samantha Colon is happy her kids will get to experience school in-person once again even if masks even if masks are required in Hartford Public Schools

"I think the masks work with everything especially in school," said Colon. "There are different kids who come from different places and you don't know where they or their parents have been so I think it's the right approach."

Hartford Public Schools says 70% of their staff is fully vaccinated and at least 81% of teachers are vaccinated.

The district will also offer testing for students who may present COVID-19 symptoms in school.

Contact Us