Camden City School District bringing back masks for 2 weeks after winter break

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Thursday, December 22, 2022
Camden City School District bringing back masks for 2 weeks
Camden City School District will implement a two-week mandatory masking policy after winter break.

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Students and staff at Camden City Schools will have to wear masks for two weeks when winter break is over.

Camden City Schools made the announcement on Wednesday, citing rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV.

On Thursday, kids joyfully left Octavius Cato School in Camden for winter break.

But when they come back, masks will be mandatory for two weeks: from January 3 through January 17.

"I think it's safe for the kids to come back with their mask on," said parent Rosa Hernandez. "You never know where they've been at. So I think it's safe."

"Given that there will be many families traveling during the vacation as well as our teaching staff, we wanted to make sure that we put some mechanism in place," said Superintendent Katrina McCombs in an interview with Action News on Thursday.

We spoke to one parent who didn't want to go on camera who doesn't think masks are necessary.

But others we spoke with are on board.

"My kids were out of school last week because they both had the flu. And then I have a nephew who just got through RSV," said parent Destiny Woods of Lawnside, N.J. "So it's a lot going on."

The School District of Philadelphia will also require masks when students and staff return after the holiday break, through Friday, January 13th.

We spoke with a doctor who says it's not a bad idea.

"We're seeing increased cases in our local healthcare systems and in the hospitals," said Dr. Jonathan Galli, a critical care physician with Virtua Health.

He says he's seeing patients come in with multiple respiratory illnesses at the same time. He says masking after gathering should help.

"We're not encouraging people to cancel Christmas or to not enjoy their family, but I do think from a public health standpoint it makes sense to take some slightly added precautions," said Galli.