TRENTON, NJ – Wearing a mask on a hot day outside or in non-airconditioned indoor facilities when the New Jersey heat and humidity kick in is dangerous to both children and adults. When Governor Phil Murphy signed his executive mask mandate order, he knew that and so did health department officials. That’s why he implemented an exemption clause based on weather.
On Monday, Murphy officially reaffirmed his position on students wearing masks on hot days but said that decision lies in the hands of local school district officials based on their circumstances and levels of activity.
“It is hot today, and above average temperatures and humid conditions are forecast for at least the next couple of days. Pat, I think you’ve got to talk a little bit about the potential for some severe thunderstorms later. As a reminder to all school officials, our current masking requirements do include exceptions for cases of extreme heat in outdoor settings and for situations indoors or outdoors where wearing a mask would inhibit the individual’s health,” Murphy said. “School officials are empowered to relax masking among students and staff in their buildings given extreme weather conditions, and we hope they will make the right calls for their educational communities. On Friday, I was proud to sign legislation and an executive order that ended our public health emergency, another step to the relative position of normalcy. This legislation also ensures that we maintain the tools we need to continue our final assault on this virus and to end the pandemic.”
While the governor says this exclusion may be necessary for the great health concerns of students and faculty, he reminded school officials that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. The public health emergency is over. The pandemic is not. We still have an aggressive vaccination program to oversee. We still must ensure that we have the capability to combat any hotspots that may arise in areas where vaccinations lag,” Murphy said.
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