As you know, on August, 6, 2021, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 251, which institutes mandatory masking indoors for students, staff and visitors for the start of the 2021-2022 school year and also contains carve outs for certain exceptions within EO 251, including for extreme heat. Unfortunately, the executive order does not provide the District with a standard definition for extreme heat. However, the information from the State in the COVID-19 Standards for Child Care Centers (updated on May 26, 2021) uses 80+ degrees as a barometer in determining masking decisions related to hot temperatures. Absent any other guidance, the Township Health Officer thought that it was reasonable to use this number in conjunction with relative humidity levels in considering the order.
In looking at the weather for tomorrow, Wednesday, the predicted temperature and heat index will range from the low 80s to the low 90s in the morning/afternoon. Therefore, in consultation with the Township Health Department, the mask exception for extreme heat will apply to non-air conditioned rooms on Wednesday afternoon, starting at 10:00 am. However, please be advised that masking is still highly encouraged. Please be further advised that individuals will still need to wear masks as they travel to and from each destination inside the school building. Please discuss as a family what works best for your situation.
We will continue to monitor the weather each day in order to make any pertinent mask exception announcements, due to extreme heat, by at least the day before, barring any unforeseen circumstances. As weather forecasts can change rapidly, waiting until the day before will better assist us in making these determinations.
Please be advised that mask breaks will continue to be provided throughout each day and, should your child have any difficulty and need additional breaks, they should just let their teacher know and they will provide assistance.
Thank you for your partnership.
Be well and stay safe!