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Tipsheet

Democrat Governor to Announce an End to One Longstanding Covid-19 Policy in New Jersey

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, will announce on Monday an end to his longstanding school mask mandate that was implemented in September 2020.

The mandate, which required all students, staff, and school visitors to wear masks, will end March 7.

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The move comes after Murphy signaled last week during a National Governors Association meeting at the White House that it was time to think about Covid-19 as endemic. 

“The overwhelming sentiment on both sides of the aisle is we want to get to a place where we can live with this thing in as normal a fashion as possible,” he said. 

School districts may still choose to keep the controversial policies in place, according to The New York Times, or reimplement masking policies should Covid-19 cases spike again. 

Cases have plummeted in New Jersey (and elsewhere in the nation) after a surge fueled by the omicron variant in December and January. 

The announcement comes as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, issued an executive order giving parents the right to choose whether to mask their children, though it's being challenged in court. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, also ended the state's mask mandate last month, leaving the option to mask up to individual school districts. 

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In November, Murphy acknowledged "there's mandate fatigue everywhere, including with yours truly" and suggested that with more children eligible to be vaccinated, the time would soon come to end the mask mandate in schools. 

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