BOSTON (CBS) — Masks will be required through Oct. 1 in dozens of Catholic schools in eastern Massachusetts. The Boston Archdiocese said Wednesday it supports the Baker Administration’s planned universal mask mandate in schools, regardless of vaccination status.

“Although the Governor’s guidelines only apply to public schools, we have informed the Archdiocese of Boston’s Catholic schools of our decision for them to implement universal indoor masking through October 1, 2021, as the Governor has proposed for public schools for students five and older,” the Archdiocese said in a statement.

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The Archdiocese directly controls 69 Catholic schools in the area. It strongly recommends that other Catholic schools in the area take the same approach.

Vaccination is the best way to bring the pandemic under control, the Archdiocese said, citing the position of Pope Francis.

“Being vaccinated… is an act of love,” the pope said recently. “And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love.

CBSBoston.com Staff