WKNOFM_HeaderColor-01.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Is it time to end school masking?

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy talks to students in a pre-K class at the Dr. Charles Smith Early Childhood Center in Palisades Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy talks to students in a pre-K class at the Dr. Charles Smith Early Childhood Center in Palisades Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In a matter of days, governors in several states announced an end to their school masking mandates. Some public health officials say it’s about time.

“It’s not that masks are bad,” Dr. Lucy McBride, a practicing internist, says. “It’s just that there’s no real world evidence that masking children for the majority of their school day reduces the transmission of the virus.”

But not everyone agrees.

“Right now, in order to keep schools open and to keep students in school, we just think right now that we have to continue with masks,” Michelle Boyd, assistant superintendent of the Special Services Department at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, says.

And parents are torn.

“I don’t want my children growing up masked forever. I don’t think any parent does,” Astra Walker, a parent in Ann Arbor, MI, says. “I think we want to make sure that the vaccine is accessible to everyone. And right now, it’s not for children under five.”

Today, On Point: Is it the right time for those masks to come off?

Guests

Dr. Lucy McBride, practicing internist. Member of Urgency of Normal, a group of scientists and doctors concerned about the harm COVID-19 mitigation measures have on children. (@drlucymcbride)

Debra Furr-Holden, professor of public health and associate dean for public health integration at Michigan State University. Director of the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions. (@DrDebFurrHolden)

Also Featured

Stephanie Avanessian, mother of three in La Canada Flintridge, CA.

Michelle Boyd, assistant superintendent of the Special Services Department at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

Astra Walker, mother of two in Ann Arbor, MI.

Karen Vaites, literacy specialist in New York State. (@karenvaites)

From The Reading List

USA Today: “With vaccines available mask mandates are not necessary in school” — “As scientists and physicians, we are concerned that COVID-19 mitigation measures for children are doing more harm than good.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.