Covid NJ: School Bus Masking Still Mandatory; Newark Extends Indoor Masking, Ends Mandatory Vaccinations

Source: RLS Media

Masks will be optional in many school districts across New Jersey starting March 7, the day Gov. Phil Murphy ends his statewide mandate — but schoolchildren still have to wear masks on the school bus.

“School buses are subject to federal masking regulations,” said Murphy spokesperson Alyana Alfaro, who referred to an FAQ from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Yes, school bus operators, including operations by public school districts, and their passengers are required to wear masks as defined by the Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Passengers and drivers on school buses must wear a mask unless the driver is the only person on the bus. This requirement applies to all school buses whether publicly or privately owned,” wrote the federal DOT.

The Department of Transportation said it is only following the January 2021 order from the CDC that requires masks be worn on all forms of public transportation.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced that under a new Executive Order, the City of Newark will extend the wearing of face masks for residents and visitors while indoors through the end of the month, after which the impact and effect of the order on the change in the COVID-19 positivity rate will be evaluated.  

The order also states that proof of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required for entry into certain indoor establishments and facilities identified in Executive Order MEO-22-0001.

Lastly, events with 250 people or more are required to have their attendees provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results to enter. Tests have to be taken within 48 hours of the event.

“The data shows that we are making tremendous progress. Our three-day rolling average for the City of Newark is at 2.5%. We have not been here in a long time,” said Mayor Baraka.

However, we are not at the end of the pandemic, therefore we need to remain vigilant to stay on this path of progress. Continue wearing your masks and get vaccinated, as another form of protection.”  

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