By Staff

BURLINGTON (CBS) – All staff members and students in Burlington Public Schools will be required to wear masks this year, regardless of vaccination status.

Superintendent Eric Conti made the announcement Tuesday in a letter to families.

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“We know that there will be different approaches to health and safety in area public school districts, but in Burlington Public Schools we will return to indoor mask-wearing,” Conti wrote.

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The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education “strongly recommends” K-6 students wear masks indoors, but no mandate is in place. Under the new guidance, DESE said vaccinated students in seventh grade could be without masks in the classroom.

The new Burlington policy goes into effect on August 9. Masks will not be required when students are outside, or when an individual works alone or in a segregated space.

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About 60% of students 12-19 years old in Burlington are vaccinated. Burlington school officials said if the district gets to around 90% “we will advocate to remove the mask mandate.” Staff