By Staff

ASHLAND (CBS) — Ashland High School has received approval from the state to drop the face mask mandate for anyone who’s vaccinated. But that doesn’t mean masks will be coming off inside the building right away.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) granted Ashland’s request to lift the requirement because 84% of students and 96% of school employees are vaccinated against COVID, above the state’s 80% threshold.

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“This being stated, while DESE may grant us a waiver, however, it is up to our local boards to determine if this is the right thing for Ashland,” Superintendent Jim Adams said in a letter to the community. “The Ashland School Committee will continue to discuss this topic in future meetings. However, I DO NOT anticipate any immediate change to our practice at this time.”

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Hopkinton High School last week was the first to get approval to drop the mask mandate after reaching the required vaccination levels. Hopkinton’s School Committee decided to hold off on a vote to officially rescind the mask requirement until at least October 21.

Massachusetts extended the school mask requirement through at least November 1, unless middle school or high schools meet the vaccination requirements.

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