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Western Massachusetts Looking For Return To Normal After COVID

Springfield, Massachusetts, officials launched a vaccination campaign for high school and middle school students, starting at Central High School.
Karen Brown
/
NEPM
Springfield, Massachusetts, officials launched a vaccination campaign for high school and middle school students, starting at Central High School.

Students and staff at most schools in Massachusetts will have to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for at least another month. But some could take another step toward a return to normal on Oct. 15.

The policy, updated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education this week, extends mask requirements through the end of October. However, it permits schools with vaccination rates of more than 80% of all students and staff to drop the mask requirement in the middle of the month.

It’s another step toward life as it was lived before the pandemic, and comes as daily figures show the latest surge in COVID cases throughout Massachusetts is continuing to ease.

How closely life can return to what you remember and what changes may be permanent are questions we hope you’ll help And Another Thing examine. The pandemic has provided new models for work, education, commerce and social interaction. Which ones do you hope survive? Which ones will you be glad to see go?

We’ll also ask whether there has been too much pressure to resume some activities too early, while the pandemic is still underway.

Send your comments to @AATonNEPM on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, by email to andanotherthing@nepm.org, or by calling 800-639-9120.

Correction: Due to an editing error, Springfield School Committee Member Denise Hurst was incorrectly identified as a longtime resident of Providence. Later in the segment, Hurst was correctly identified as a resident of Springfield.

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