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Boston Public Schools to lift mask requirement on Monday for most people; still suggests masks, though

Declining Covid-19 rates means BPS will lift its in-school mask requirements for most people starting Monday - although officials say masks are still a good idea even if no longer required.

The exceptions are people who are returning to school less than ten days after they test negative on a Covid-19 test, students and teachers who have been identified as contacts in a school where a Covid-19 cluster is being investigated, or people who start feeling sick while in school - all those people will have to wear masks. Masks will also still be required in school health offices.

The Boston Public Health Commission recommended the easing of the mask mandate today:

Over the last 14 days, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has observed a sustained downward trend in case rate and hospital admission along with a stabilization of viral wastewater concentration.

The commission added:

Masking is encouraged in indoor public settings, on transportation, and at school-sponsored activities. Indoor mask use is strongly recommended among adults and children who are not fully vaccinated and those who have or live with individuals with medical conditions that place them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Students, parents and staff who choose to mask will be supported in that choice.


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The covidiots are patting themselves on the back for having succeeded in toppling BPS by protesting long and hard enough.

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The graph says that the mask requirements in BPS did nothing to prevent an uptick in cases. Conversely, Boston's public health experts are saying that as cases are decreasing (which they are overall) it's okay to ease the mask mandates in the schools.

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What does that graph say to you?

This graph doesn’t prove that masks prevent covid — could be a coincidence that the district with a mask requirement has half the covid rate. But nor can you accurately claim that “The graph says that the mask requirements in BPS did nothing to prevent an uptick in cases.”

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1. According to the graph, case rates in Brookline began to spike before they dumped the mask requirement, so it would appear that correlation is weak.

2. I believe the point of the tweet was to note that the decision of BPS do ditch the mask requirements now is misguided. BPHC and BPS are looking at the trends overall. We've seen that case rates would have probably risen in the other 3 school districts even if they kept a mask requirement using BPS as a guide. Same thing if someone produced the same graph covering November through January, which would have been an interesting set of data to compare to this data.

Honestly, if BPS decided to keep the masks in place for another 8 school days, that wouldn't have been the worst decision. Essentially keeping the schools closed for the 2020-21 school year, on the other hand, was a horrible decision. That said, I'll trust the public health folk on this one.

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There have consistently been spikes after holidays and vacations. The people in Brookline and Newton likely travel more often, further distances, and more days at a time for their vacations than those in Boston and Cambridge. Many students in those towns also go to private schools. You can see the spike starting after private school vacations in March and then a spike after public school vacations in April.

Lots of travel by a large group followed by putting them all back together in buildings, whether it be schools, bars, music venues, churches, or synagogues, has contributed to spikes both with masks and without masks. It looks like most cases are mild and the hospitals are not overrun.

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If the actual case numbers were equal but the wealthier schools are able to do more comprehensive testing.

I'm also curious how rigidly the students had followed to the mandate in all the districts.

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As always.

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Hopefullt this type of poor decsion making will become a thing of the past when the state takes over.

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The decision making will likely just get much worse, since the state is not equipped to manage any school system not to mention the largest in the sate. My guess is you'll see BPS focus on scores on tests if the state takes over and completely neglect every other aspect of the system. This will show on paper they are succeeding, but in reality its just going to be a big waste of money and resources and in 5 years everyone will be yelling about how the state is ruining BPS.

Be careful what you wish for.

In terms of the masks, you don't have to wear them in every other aspect of life... why would you be required to wear them at BPS? So no mask on at home, none at restaurants, none at the parks, none at the aquarium, none at parties, none at your neighbors, none on the MBTA, none on your way to school and then BAM masks at BPS will stop covid... if you think that's reality you're a fool. Masks only work if everyone wears them 100% of the time, not if you pretend to wear them and put on a show of wearing them in high profile sectors of the community like schools.

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Second paragraph:

The exceptions are people who are returning to school less than ten days after they test negative on a Covid-19 test

Sounds like a union run government operation to me.

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Gaff is management. And I think it was his screw up (sorry Adam) not the city's.

From the release on the BPS website, I think this is what that is supposed to say:

Students and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are returning to school before a full 10 days of isolation, must mask for the remaining days. Example: A Student comes back to school on Day 6 because they have a negative COVID test, the student should be masked for Day 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.


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informed by an impotent BPHC. It's not smart to toss caution to the wind while covid still circulates around the schools among students and staff and graduation and end-of-the year ceremonies are happening. They couldn't wait 2 more weeks???

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...as Benito Dorito remarked, case numbers go down if you just stop all that damn testing.

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