Rhode Island recommends using a universal mask in schools

Rhode Island recommends using a universal mask in schools

“We strongly recommend that school districts set a policy that requires masking in schools this fall regardless of vaccination status in direct correlation with CDC guidance. Over the course of the summer, we will continue to monitor the CDC’s guidance and update Rhode Island’s guidance as necessary,” the statement said. During a news conference last month to announce school reopening plans, McKee had said that indoor mask wearing would not be required for the fully vaccinated.

The decision announced by Gov. Dan McKee, Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s update this week to recommend universal mask use within school settings, they said in a joint statement. It comes as the highly contagious delta variant fuels a resurgence of the disease across the country. They urged people to get vaccinated.

Although almost 656,000 people have been fully vaccinated in the state, three key metrics used to measure the spread of the coronavirus in the state — percent positive test results, new hospital admissions, and news cases per 100,000 population — have all risen in the past week according to the health department. ___

HOSPITAL VACCINE MANDATES Rhode Island’s two largest health care systems are requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The announcements were made Tuesday by Lifespan and Care New England — which are moving toward a merger.

“It is our responsibility to keep our patients, and our staff, safe. This program will be based on the best evidence that we have to date about preventing transmission of COVID-19,” Dr. James Fanale, Care New England’s chief executive, said in a statement. Care New England said it would “move toward” requiring vaccinations by first requiring that all managers receive a first dose before Labor Day. More details will be released within the next seven to 10 days. Lifespan announced that its vaccine mandate will go into effect Sept. 1, and it is the system’s goal to have all employees show proof of immunization within 60 days, the organization said.

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