Indoor masking optional for new public school yearPosted on Jul 25, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Indoor masking will be optional at Hawai‘i’s public schools for the new school year, based on new guidance from the state Department of Health. However, masks will be “strongly encouraged” when COVID-19 Community Levels are at medium or high, said Dr. Sarah Kemble, state epidemiologist. “This is an opportunity to move forward towards a new normal,” she said, since COVID vaccines and booster shots are more widely available for younger children and there is a relatively lower incidence of critical illness.
“Targeted” indoor masking may still be recommended in some situations, Kemble said, depending on if there is a cluster in a specific classroom. “You don’t know if the student sitting next to your child is going to be masking or not, so now is a really good time to boost.” She added that 73% of students between 12 and 17 years old have received the first two doses of vaccine and 26% are boosted.