Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians urge governor to require masks in schools

Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians urge governor to require masks in schools

The physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians strongly recommend that Gov. Baker require masking while indoors for all who learn in, work in, or visit schools – regardless of vaccination status – as the Commonwealth prepares to return to in-person learning in the coming weeks.

The Massachusetts Medical Society believes that safe, in-person schooling is paramount to promoting the optimal health of our children. We support all appropriate public health measures to best achieve this aim for the children of the Commonwealth.

Education plays a pivotal role in children’s mental, physical and emotional development and wellbeing, and we must balance safety and a priority to return to full-time, in-person learning with as little disruption as possible.

Masking is a public health measure proven to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and decreasing transmission is critically important now as data have shown an increase in the number of children and adults who have contracted the easily transmissible delta variant of the virus.

By introducing a statewide indoor masking policy for K-12 students consistent with guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics, the Commonwealth reaffirms its commitment to keeping all of our schools open and our students and staff safe.

It is imperative that Massachusetts teachers, staff, students, and visitors start this school year with uniform masking requirements to protect them and those with whom they live and interact outside of the academic setting.

The Medical Society will continue to work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and closely monitor data and trends related to the virus that will shape future guidance.

- Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

- Julie Johnston, MD, FAAFP, President, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians

- Elisa Choi, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Governor, Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians

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