Paterson NJ schools lift COVID-19 face-mask mandate –

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PATERSON — The school district is lifting the mandatory face mask requirement imposed during the first two weeks of January.

Citing a decline in COVID-19 cases, Superintendent Eileen Shafer decided to go back to making the masks optional, effective today, when classes resume after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

In a letter sent to parents and employee on Friday, Shafer said the number of new coronavirus cases in Paterson had dropped from 32 on Jan. 3 to 4 on Jan. 12.

“While these numbers allow us to return to optional masking, they should serve as a reminder to us that the pandemic is not over,” Shafer said in her letter.

Earlier:Paterson schools reinstate mask mandate amid uptick in COVID, flu and RSV

“In addition, we remain susceptible to the flu virus and the respiratory syncytial virus,” Shafer added. “That is why I kindly ask you to respect anyone who chooses to continue wearing a mask in a school or a district building.”

The Paterson school district has about 25,000 students and more than 3,000 employees.

Joe Malinconico is editor of Paterson Press. Email: