Mask Mandate Lift


As of  March 7th, 2022, New Jersey’s mask mandate is no longer applicable in schools for both students and staff. New Jersey was known to have been one of the states with some of the most strictest mandates imposed by Governor Phil Murphy since the global pandemic, COVID-19, surged in early March of 2020. Now nearly two years later, students can return to “normalcy,” or what was is known of “pre-covid life.”

Although New Jersey Governor Murphy has explained the leading factors in his decision being the low amount of COVID cases reported in districts and the increasing numbers of individuals who have received the COVID immunity vaccinations, New Jersey still averages 1,077 cases and 13 deaths daily, according to The New York Times map and case count.

Since the return to school, a majority of students and staff have opted to go mask free. Restrictions such as social distancing, lunch room limitations, and access to water fountains remain to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of all students and staff. Both of which are still welcome to continue the use of masks, as the lift of the mandate doesn’t prohibit the use of them. Students have described the change as “stress relieving,” and the first day mask free as, “the first day of school.”

Sophomore Student, Elizabeth Liedtka said “It’s weird seeing people’s faces, my mind envisioned them to look entirely different.”

Liedtka also stated that although it’s “felt better” being mask free, there is still that underlying fear of catching the virus. “I sometimes do get scared of catching COVID and giving it to my family.”

Many hope that without disregarding the dangers of the virus, the lift will be a step back into pre-pandemic life and that internationally, the pandemic can be lived with responsibly.

Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy addresses the mandate lift. Feb 7, 2022.