TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he has reached into the state’s huge stockpile of PPE and will be making 6,500,000 face masks and surgical masks available to children who show up to school without a face mask.
Of those 6.5 million masks, 500,000 will be in children’s sizes.
“As the majority of our schools prepare to open to all students, faculty, and staff next week, we remain committed to ensuring as safe a start to the school year as possible. As we have previously announced, everyone in our schools, everyone, is to wear a mask save for extremely limited exceptions,” Murphy said. “We have identified approximately 6 million K-N95 and surgical masks along with roughly 500,000 child-sized masks that we will make available to districts on an as-needed basis for students or staff who might forget, damage, or misplace their own masks. We will make these masks available to districts at no charge, and we invite all public school districts and non-public schools to request any masks that they may need.”
Murphy also laid down the law against school districts, board members and school officials who politicize the school mask mandate.
Murphy also reminded district leaders who continue to want to make what is a matter of public health into something political that our in-school masking policy is not a polite suggestion.
“We do not and will not take lightly to any district or any school who tries to finagle their way out of their responsibility for protecting public health,” the governor said. “Let’s just be perfectly clear that if you try to do so, you’re only putting your students, educators, support staff, administrators, and everyone else in your school, plus by the way, your families, their families, and your communities all at risk.”