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Dem. governors in New Jersey, Delaware set to drop in-school mask mandates: We need to get kids 'back to normal'

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Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Blue-state governors of both New Jersey and Delaware have set timelines to wrap up in-school mask mandates, according to a Monday report from the New York Times.

What are the details?

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) on Monday announced mask mandates in schools would soon wind to a close.

A spokesperson for Murphy's office told CNN on Monday that the governor's office plans to announce a timeline to end the state's school mask mandate next month, allowing students and school officials to be unmasked as of March.

Murphy, along with other state officials, is expected to hold a COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

Murphy told the Times on Sunday that the March timing is due in part to the region's improving weather and added that getting rid of masks would be a "huge step toward normalcy."

Carney on Monday added that Delaware is in a "much better place than we were several weeks ago in the middle of the Omicron surge[.]"

"I want to be clear about this point — COVID is still circulating in our communities. And the virus still poses a risk of serious illness, particularly among those who are not up to date on their vaccinations," he continued. "But we have the tools to keep ourselves and each other safe."

Carney announced that the in-school mask mandate is set to expire on March 31.

In January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) rescinded the state's in-school mask mandate, and Democratic governors of states such as Connecticut and New York are also in the process of re-evaluating mask mandates in schools, the Times added.

What else?

Dr. Lucy McBride, a Washington, D.C.-based internist, said that it's high time for school and students to get "back to normal."

“We need to get them back to normal,” McBride said, calling for an end to mask mandates "I think the dam is breaking. It’s hard to speak out because there’s been this sort of protect-against-COVID-at-all-costs attitude, which made sense in 2020, when we had no vaccines. It just doesn’t add up any more.”

At the time of this reporting, at least 13 states still have school mask orders in place, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.

On Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CBS News that he believes more and more states will begin removing mask mandates.

“When prevalence is low ... we can start to lean forward and take a little bit more risk and try to at least make sure that students in schools have some semblance of normalcy for this spring term,” Gottlieb added.

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